Artistic License

March 27, 2010

A bit of a side note: Grammar

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joana @ 11:42 pm

As the title says, this is a bit of a side note as it has little to do with my actual writing of Artistic License.  But I thought I’d say it, anyway.

Earlier today (or… yesterday, since it’s past midnight for me) there was a thread on inkpop where someone said to the effect of “Oh, grammar doesn’t matter when you’re writing; that’s what editors are for!” This floored me.  I’ve known this wasn’t true for years now, but the person that said this was my age (nineteen) and still thought that.

Moira Allen said it best in her article Grammar Matters when she said “Grammar — including spelling, punctuation, and a grasp of where to insert (or omit) capitals — is not some esoteric, elitist requirement imposed by editors and publishers who want to close the doors in the faces of "good storytellers." It is simply a tool — an essential tool in every writer’s toolbox. In any career, if you do not know what tools you need or how to use them, you will not succeed.”

Allen also says earlier in the article that editors DO care about spelling and grammar when you send in pieces to consider for publication.  You don’t have to have it perfect, but editors and agents are more likely to, when given the choice, pick up a story with an okay storyline and awesome grammar and spelling than an awesome storyline but would take days or weeks to edit the messy prose.

So, if any of my readers happen to be writers who struggle with grammar and don’t bother to improve or get a personal editor because you’re under the impression that it doesn’t matter, try telling that to the agents that reject you 🙂 That is all.

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1 Comment »

  1. LOL! I like this post.

    I studied journalism for a while in college and got really good with AP Style. It’s one of those imperative things that every journalist just knows. For instance, you know that in journalism that excess comma in between words in a sequence (i.e. She bought apples, bananas, and oranges.) is just that: excessive. So all journalists write with that automatically omitted. It doesn’t matter if you write for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or the local community newspaper. Style and grammar count.

    I completely agree with you on every point you made. Thanks for reminding us that even the smallest details count! 😀

    Oh, and about the imbedded vlogs: I don’t really know how to do it on WordPress either, but I remember seeing a tutorial on it when I was poking around. If I can find the link, I’ll post it for you. 🙂

    Comment by Rae — March 29, 2010 @ 6:43 pm | Reply


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