Grammar: How I overcame the writer’s boogie man.


I spent my Friday night and all of today (Saturday) reading ‘Word study and English grammar. A Primer of Information about words’ By Frederick W. Hamilton. I have known for some time that my grammar is not excellent but refused to give in and learn the more complex writing rules. I held the solemn suspicion that revising my language usage would stifle my creativity and make me a dull writer. However as the publishing date of my first novella draws closer, I realize that poor grammar may discredit a lot of my hard work.

The fear of dulling my writing style has been thrown out of the window. Contrary to my belief, grammar (once understood) simply brings clarity to writing. She states the obvious you say! However my perceived complexity of grammar resulted in an unwarranted fear that I am happy to have put to bed. For those of you out there who like me have refused to revise interjections, adverbs and the like…do it! It will change your thought and writing life!

To wet your grammar buds I have listed 5 little gems I picked up:

1. Let each sentence have one, and only one principal subject of thought.
2. The connection between two long sentences or paragraphs sometimes requires a short intervening sentence showing the transition of thought.
3. Report a speech in the first person where necessary to avoid ambiguity.
4. Do not use ‘and which’ for ‘which’
5. ‘At least’, ‘always’, and other adverbvial adjuncts sometimes produce ambiguity.

P.S. Did you know that a paragraph longer than 300 words can be split into 2 paragraphs even if no new subject is raised!

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About Plantain Periodicals

Hello! Welcome to the Plantain Periodicals blogs. The name stems from the kitchen moments I had with my friends at university cooking plantain and planning our lives together. I have used this space as a window into my mind and the way I make sense of all my experiences through writing.This is where I share those conversations and moments that happen inside my head as a young woman growing up in 21st century London. Hopefully you'll be entertained and also learn a thing or two. My main blog ad: www.nissiknows.wordpress.com My literature blog: www.plantainperiodicals.wordpress.com NMx
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One Response to Grammar: How I overcame the writer’s boogie man.

  1. Kemi says:

    Great post! I’ll be needing these tips as I start writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month (http://nanowrimo.org). K

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