I appreciate grammar. I do. But my brain usually short-circuits if I have to filter through a bunch of colons, commas, and semi-colons to get to the true grit of the story.
My 81 year old grandmother is writing a story. She pitched it to me. I wish I could become an agent, because I’d buy it without even reading it, just by what she described to me. It’s like Nicholas Sparks vs. Catherine Anderson (and I wish I could explain my own book in such a way). Plus, imagine an 81 year old romance author! She’s got the mind, she’s got the experience, she’s got the charm! I believe in her! And I think an 81 year old romance author could charm the socks off most unbelievers.
I hope she finishes it. She’s one of my inspirations because she’s always WANTED to write, but never sat down and finished (along with my mom, who died before she had the chance). So I decided to actually finish one or two or three while I had the chance. And I hope she will, too.
Back to my point. She read this “how-to” book (not sure the title), that explained the importance of grammar and all the things you MUST do (i.e. don’t rewrite your story too much! (What? That requires another post)) It explained the importance of grammar. So her first sentence, which was actually really interesting but had three descriptive actions, were each separated by a proper semi-colon. Which was very intrusive to me, as a reader.
So my point of this blog post is...don’t apply every “how-to” to your own writing. Because maybe we’re all guilty of disrespecting grammar, but let’s face it: The world is changing, our attention spans are suffering a shortage in this action-infused world, and writing with too many proper punctuations is intrusive.
And you don’t have to be right all the time.