Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes
If you’ve read my blog since its inception not that long ago, you’ll notice I haven’t done a single blog post on grammar. This isn’t because there are ten bajillion other posts out there on grammar or because I was a glorified grammarian when I was a tutor at my uni’s writing center, pretty much having to work on grammar first before I could even get to content. This is because, when it comes to creative writing, grammar is unimportant to me. Grammar is the easy part, the easiest thing you will ever do with your writing.
I know there are some hardcore grammarians out there who are probably cringing reading the above sentence, but it’s true: I don’t give a flip about your grammar. Unless your grammar is so atrocious that I actually have to wonder what you’re trying to say, grammar is just not that important to me in a story. Obviously I want grammar polished in published books, but when it comes to drafts, I just don’t think it’s that important to comment on–not to mention you can find plenty of websites dealing with whatever grammar issues you have.
Grammar can always be fixed in the proofing stage.
In any case, when you guys come to my blog and read some of my ‘madness’ writing advice, I write those with the assumption that you’re not too worried about grammar, that you too know grammar is unimportant until the very last draft. Content is what I focus on first and foremost because content is the hardest to nail. You’ve got to have a developed plot, characters, sub-plots, secondary characters, and so on and so forth. Those elements are crucial to a good story. If you try and focus on grammar upfront, you could miss those key elements as you’re revising. Sure, it is important how you write your sentences in order to portray what you would like to show, but I’m just not as concerned about your commas as I am your content. Plus, I’m still not convinced that style can be taught, and style is what really gives your writing its overall flair–style being separate from grammar and all.
So I don’t offer grammar advice because I see it as unimportant, and there is just so much of it floating around the internet, far more than writing advice itself.
Don’t get me wrong. Grammar is important, but as I said, it’s not crucial until the very last draft.