Grammarians…

the bane of my existence.

Every facet of the writing realm seems to have their own, detailed, version of how they want things written.  Precise rules of where comma’s, apostrophe’s, and semi-colons must be placed.  And let us not forget structural specifications.

The grammarians of this world loathe me.  Yes, that is correct – LOATHE.

Why?

Because the story is my absolute first priority.  When I’m working on a project, I have to get the story out of my head.  I often have my writing group read flawed versions, looking for story consistencies.  Misplaced punctuation, extra spaces, and roaming sentence structure is the least of my worries-at that time.

Yes, adhering to one of the schools of Style and Structure is important, but not until I’ve got my head around the story itself.  If I have a character eating their partner, I’ll fix it soon enough – I promise.

All I ask is for patience before beating me upside the head with an explanation point.

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9 comments

  • “Because the story is my absolute first priority.”

    As it should be! Let the vultures come and fix the punctuation later to suit their compulsive needs. The story is a journey and words the vehicle to get there. Punctuation is just the a/c on that vehicle. Yeah it’s nice when it works, but it is not necessary to get you there.

  • I find I do the same thing, grammar and punctuation go out the window when I write. I figure if I interrupt the story, it may lose its train – oddly, like it has a life of its own and I am simply channelling it. I love it when a good story takes over me. Keep up the excellent work!

    • Thanks!

  • I am a grammar moron, so I feel your pain. I try not to think about commas, dashes, or semicolons when I’m writing. When a draft is done, I give it to my best friend who thankfully fixes all that for me. 😉

    • I have a great technical friend for help with that too.

  • Jings! I’d like to be a fly on the wall when you argue with your agent, then!

    I don’t think that the absolutes of grammar and punctuation should be given more-than-due priority, with the following provisos:

    1. They should be consistent even if technically ‘wrong’.

    2. They should not lead to ambiguity (you want your story to say what you want it to say, obviously!).

    3. They should fit the register and ‘voice’ of the work.

    Having said that, if I pick up a book and I see ‘should of’ I read no further. 😉

    M
    __________
    Marie Marshall
    writer/poet/editor/blogger
    http://mairibheag.com
    http://kvennarad.wordpress.com

    • No, this is my response to the early stages of story telling. When I am looking for story consistency. Yes, grammar and punctuation are important and will be fixed by the time I send it off. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Got it! 🙂

  • Thanks everyone for sharing their experiences and thoughts. The individual processes to writing are as varied as snowflakes. In the end, I do my best to put forth a completed project that is compelling, structurally correct and well punctuated. I know some people who agonize over every sentence, before moving on to the next.

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