This week’s column topic comes in from a beginner writer who asked if I could focus on grammar. Delighted to. Grammar is a sore point for many of us, but it is worth learning as much as you can so that your drafts are as polished as can be before you submit them. Of course, being proficient in the rules and understanding of grammar will in no way substitute for an editor. Remember, we don’t always see the flaws and mistakes in our own work, especially not after reading it for the hundredth time. I’ve taken some of the best grammar tips and advice posts I could find and have included them below.
- https://www.writingforward.com/grammar/grammar-rules/grammar-rules-every-writer-should-know – Ten Grammar Rules Every Writer Should Know: This is a great article to start with an it covers all the basics such as commas, verb tense, adjectives, adverbs, homophones, and more.
- https://karenkrossing.com/for-writers/grammar-tips-for-fiction-writers/ – Grammar Tips For Fiction Writers: Another superb article that is geared towards fiction writers. As the article correctly states, not all traditional grammar rules apply to fiction writing. The article is packed full of useful tips such as avoiding passive voice – you’ll find examples too -, using said and asked for dialogue tags, using specific language, and more. It’s a short article, but there’s lots of great stuff in it.
- https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/top-ten-grammar-myths – Grammar Girl is a must for any writer and don’t forget to check out the podcast too. In this article she’s discussing the top ten grammar myths. Some of these are excellent and there are examples provided too. Here’s the link to the main grammar girl section of the website too where you’ll find lots of helpful articles. https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast.
- https://www.dailywritingtips.com/category/grammar-101/ – Grammar 101: If you want to do some in depth learning, this Grammar 101 is perfect. There’s a full list of everything from conjunctive adverbs to verb tenses and moods. Just click on the section you want, and you’ll be taken to a full article on the topic.
- https://becomeawritertoday.com/15-simple-effective-grammar-lessons-2/ – 15 Simple But Effective Grammar Lessons: This article provides examples which are simple and easy to understand. It tells you when to use “which and that”, “effect vs affect”, “farther and further”, and more.
- https://fivebooks.com/best-books/grammar-punctuation-mark-nichol/ – The Best Grammar and Punctuation Books recommended by Mark Nichol: This interview with Mark Nichol of Daily Writing Tips lists his five recommended grammar and punctuation books along with why grammar matters as well as discussion British and US English.
- https://www.readitforward.com/essay/article/grammar-books/ – 14 Books for Grammar Nerds: If you want to delve deeper into grammar, this post has 14 excellent books to choose from. I’m slightly intrigued by the “Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies” and “The Deluxe Transitive Vampire” books and might have to add them to my must buy
Don’t forget to check out the recommended books on writing on writing.ie as well where you’ll find plenty of great books to help you including The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr and EB White. https://www.writing.ie/resources/recommended-books-on-writing/
I hope you enjoyed the links and I look forward to bringing you some more Really Useful Links next week. If there is a topic that you would like to see covered, get in touch and I will see what I can do.
(c) Amanda J Evans