Welcome to my new ten-part series where we’ll be going through the ten basics of storytelling as outlined in my guidebook The 10 Lost Elements of Storytelling – a book you can get for free by subscribing to my newsletter! In these posts, we’ll be going over the basics of these storytelling elements, but my guidebook is more detailed on some subjects and provides examples and resources. All you need to do is say “yes” to receiving a fun, inspirational, and educational newsletter once a month.
The very first element we have to consider is grammar. Before we can think about plot, characters, or even writing style, grammar must be absolutely solid.
Grammatical accuracy has become less and less important to writers. Many books I read are riddled with grammatical errors. People rely too much on grammar checking software, which is anything but infallible, or they think that people won’t care.
Newsflash: readers do care, very much! You may be able to self-publish whatever you want, but that doesn’t mean it’ll automatically attract readers. Agents and publishers still care about grammar, too.
So, you should care.
Before you can be a great writer, you must be a master of grammar. How can you write compelling prose if you don’t know the best ways to make words work together? Knowing your language inside and out and learning new vocabulary are the best ways to make your writing sound good before even being edited – which will impress everyone who reads your work.
As with anything, it takes time to learn. Buy a used grammar textbook and brush up on your stuff. Read, a lot, both fiction and non-fiction. And when you do use those grammar checkers, make note of your most frequent mistakes and learn how to fix them.
Don’t skip this crucial first step in becoming a great writer. Learn your language, study it, and watch how much your writing improves. You can’t jump over the basics, however tempting it may seem.
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