You’re the Writer, Not the Grammarian

All Rights Reserved ©


Age Rating:

You’re the Writer, Not the Grammarian

The Pit

One of the biggest problems beginner writers–and even seasoned ones at times–can have is falling into the Grammar Pit: the place where writers becomes too focused on the grammar of their piece than on the piece itself. What is worse is that they do not even realize they have fallen into the pit thanks to its benign and subtle-like nature. The slow slide into the pit begins once writers start to ask questions in the middle of their writing; questions which are better left asked after their done. Some of the most common are: “Was it supposed to be who or whom?”, “Is that Oxford Comma needed?”, or “Is this sentence fragment okay?”

If these questions were taken to a Grammar Nazi or (worse) to a Grammarian[1], the answers would be concrete: “You should use whom”, “Use the Oxford Comma”, and “The sentence fragment is most certainly not okay.”

Now this wouldn’t be a big deal if these were the only questions writers had, but the truth is, once writers begin to get uneasy with their grammar, they begin to falter and doubt. They start double-checking themselves sentence after sentence, checking over each comma, dash, and period, and worry whether they used the correct verb form of “To Be” rather than on what “Should Be”–the piece itself. When this happens, they realize too little too late they’ve fallen into the pit and either one of two things will occur: One.) The writer will become frustrated with their work and throw in the towel. Or, Two.) They’ll finish the piece, discover that somewhere along the way they lost the joy of writing it, and will never want to write again.

This is something that is taught in schools and colleges and is trapping waaaayyyyyy too many writers. But, don’t lose hope. There is a way to avoid it.

The Truth

Despite what the grammar teacher taught you in high school or that all-too-serious English Professor said during lecture, when it comes to writing fiction or non-fiction, grammar does not matter. Yes, you read right. Grammar Does Not Matter.

While it is important to know when to use a semicolon in place of a comma or a dash, a writer is not bound by these rules. If they were, Joyce, Hemmingway, Twain, Verne and even modern-day writers such as Stephen King, Toni Morrison, or Cormac McCarthy[2]–all their works would be banned since none of them adhere to the supposed rules of grammar.

True writers understand that people speak and think in fragments, understand that one-word sentences are worth a thousand, and understand that specifying “Who did what to whom?” is a formality and not a necessity!

The Double-Edge Sword

Does this mean writers should ignore grammar? Of course not. True, the rules of grammar are not mandatory, but they are still very important. Grammar sets the standards for how a writer should write. Without it, it would be difficult–if not impossible–to understand or read a writer’s work. Meaning, while writing a few good intentional sentence fragments are okay, writing an entire book composed of sentence fragments is not. No reader wants to read a solid wall of text and no reader wants to have to decipher something that looks like Klingon. So, don’t toss grammar book out the window, but don’t let it act as a ball and chain either.

The Escape

What should writers do with grammar? The answer is simple: use it as a guideline. Writers have free reign over what they create. Breaking the rules every now and again is common and often part of a writer’s style. They key is knowing when to break the rules and when to follow them. Besides, if writers did follow every rule of grammar, Grammarians would either have to come up with some new rules or look for another line of work.

The individuals who create the rules of grammar and are what Grammar Nazis wish they could be. [1]↑

Look at any of Cormac McCarthy’s works and you will discover that he never uses quotations. Ever. [2]↑

Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Kacie Humbert: It's great. Captivating. When is the next chapter?

Paulz Danford: I really enjoyed this book! Thank you!!!

Destiny: Great writing style. Just enough detail to color the imagination. Not too much to bore the reader. The character growth is a great pace.

brittneymikula1: This book was AMAZING! I picked it up at first some light reads at lunch and couldn’t focus the rest of the day because I had to finish the book. The plot line was great. I really hope the author writes a sequel. There needs to be more! Finn and Abelia’s story can’t end here.

Sculptureplus: I love this story I cannot wait till you finish the next story 😊👍❤️❤️❤️

Laila Mughal: the store is amazing it has all four emotions happy,sad,mad,and when they felt done which i believe is good for a realistic fiction and like the end its sad and mad at the same time witch i love so overall i love this store

Sparkles Everywhere: Woah. That was quite the mental journey. I usually only like happily ever afters but this story was amazing enough to not have me upset over a lack of one

Emer: This story paints a dramatic picture of the life of a high school girl. While it has some heavy topics in it, it is sincerely written. The main character battles conflicts that are both internal and external. There are plenty of metaphors, but yet the resolution is not strong.

Tanya Strydom: I really enjoy the story and can not wait to read more Thank you

More Recommendations

Conner Terry: Do a sequel thus was a amazing book

rellerton: Nice little story, I love the characters. Story has good pacing, keeping me interested. Not too dramatic. Really enjoyed it. A good read!

Lovatic Music: This book is great is keeps me on edge. Makes my heart swell with happiness and sadness at the same time! I love it!! Totally recommended!!

Sabrina Solis: A good book to read totally different and I loved that about the book

Allison2354: When is next update

camillenoeldoug: I love this!!! What happens next? What happened to Jaxon and Amber? Does he like her surprise she bought for herself? Are they able to stabalize her nutrient loss? Does she make it safely through the pregnancy and delivery? Why did her dad disown her? Was it because of the cancer? Will she and he...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.