Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Writer's Checklist

The tongue-in-cheek poster above is fun to read, gives us a chuckle or two and also makes a good point. There really is a difference between good writing and bad.

I've always been one who admires those who strive to practice good grammar and good word usage. While the humor in the rules above comes through just fine, so do the actual rules given.
If a writer can avoid doing all ten cited here, they are to be commended. It's not as easy as you might think.

Some are part of our everyday conversation but should be avoided when attempting to write a story. I know it seems obvious, but there are a great many who write and break every one of these rules.

When we're chatting with a friend, we aren't consciously searching for active verbs rather than passive. We use a whole lot of those passives like was, is, are. We also tend to use more cliches in our conversation even when we try to avoid them in our writing. The way we talk and the way we write can be miles apart.

Ending a sentence with a preposition seems to come naturally when we talk even though seeing it in something written is like waving a red flag. Only recently, I read somewhere that finishing off a sentence with a preposition is alright now. Maybe so many people have broken the rule that the unknown they thought it easier to change the rule.

Pay attention to grammar rules and word usage. No matter how good a plot is or the premise for an essay, it will fade away with poor writing mechanics. Read the ten points and use them for a checklist the next time you write a story. See if you followed the rules or broke several.  And don't give me that old Rules are meant to be broken. argument. That's what teens tell their parents! 

1 comment:

  1. Maybe ending a sentence with a preposition is considered "alright now" ... but it still does not sound right to me.

    Not a big fan of "changing the rules" to match inconsistencies or repeated errors. Just because everyone else does it, it does not make it right, (remember our mothers telling us this?)

    I try to stick to the 'Olde School Rule' of proper grammar & the works) myself, regardless of all the rule changes along the way.