Does grammar matter, and will it?

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djf881
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Re: Does grammar matter, and will it?

Post by djf881 » March 20th, 2011, 11:33 am

Anything you submit should be as clean as you can possibly make it.

It's normal, in a book-length manuscript, to have a few typographical errors and the occasional editing glitch. That's why you get several sets of eyes on your work before it goes to press. If there are any technical flaws in your query or your first five pages, agents will assume that the problems appear repeatedly throughout your work, so these first-impression materials really need to be perfect.

If you have these problems because you don't know the rules of English grammar, then your writing is bad. You cannot accomplish anything stylish or compelling if you don't have basic skills. The rules of grammar are the rules of clear, transparent prose. When you follow the rules, the reader can easily tell who is speaking, who is acting and which adjectives describe which nouns. When you do not follow the rules, your work is confusing and unreadable. If your grammar is weak, your writing is certain to be stilted and clumsy.

Writers with poor grammar also tend to have poor vocabularies, and tend not to be very well-read. These are not the qualities of people who are likely to succeed at writing books.

A lot of would-be writers believe they do not need to know grammar because copy editors will fix those problems. Copy editors will help you clean up your occasional glitches, but if your prose is systematically defective, then editors will not rewrite your book for you.
If you like my posts, please check out my writing blog; http://somethingpersuasive.blogspot.com.

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J. T. SHEA
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Re: Does grammar matter, and will it?

Post by J. T. SHEA » March 20th, 2011, 4:47 pm

Margot a Californian beach bunny!? Who'd have guessed?

Sommer, your husband teaches COMIC BOOKS in his English class!? Does he accept very mature students?

Cheekychook and Margot, I'd love to read the LOLcat bible translation, but I'm afraid Ceiling Cat would smite me.

Dfj881, your blog has a photo captioned 'Porn-star Capri Anderson, who Charlie Sheen had sex with', a sentence which ends with a preposition and no full-stop. Also, 'who' should be 'whom'. I bet Mr. Sheen is very upset.

Margo
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Re: Does grammar matter, and will it?

Post by Margo » March 20th, 2011, 5:03 pm

J. T. SHEA wrote:Margot a Californian beach bunny!? Who'd have guessed?
Actually, J.-., living in an ag valley, perhaps I should have said dust bunny.
J. T. SHEA wrote:Cheekychook and Margot, I'd love to read the LOLcat bible translation, but I'm afraid Ceiling Cat would smite me.
Basement Cat would smite you, I'm sure. Cuz Basement Cat is eeebil...and my hero.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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