Reviewing My Grammar

Reviewing My Grammar

Yesterday I was given a book by a friend on grammar. The usual response to such a gift is often either “do I look that boring?” or  “is this a clue?” Strangely enough I sat down almost immediately and started reading. I’ve been dying for some literature on grammar; which puts me back in the upper echelons of weird.

I’ve been trying to find Elements of Style to read since it’s hailed as one of the seminal works on writing. But seeing how it’s still not available on Kindle I’ve had to order the paperback from Amazon.

 

craft of writing

In the meantime I read my friend’s book, the Craft of Writing by O.M. Thompson. The main thing I took from it was the need for shorter sentences. At least in my own writing I have a tendency to string too much together. It’s an easy trap to fall into. I want to pull you along in a conversational manner. I guess reading is still very different than listening (notice I’m practicing what I’m claiming to have learned).

The rules listed were fairly helpful. If nothing else it helps to see solid examples of ‘proper’ writing again. It tugs on the writer’s heart to seek pure form. At least this writer’s heart.

The only other books I’ve ever read about writing that I would suggest are On Writing by Stephen King and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. King’s book is more of a memoir about his life through the lens of writing. But it’s incredibly encouraging to read and the second portion is full of great advice about writing novels.

On Writing - Stephen King

Anne Lamott’s work is one that encouraged me the most in the realm of letting my characters live and breathe on their own. King is a huge advocate of this as well, but something about Lamott’s treaty to allow my characters space really stuck with me. Granted I have yet to hit the writer’s manic depression she laments so much. Maybe it’s the lack of alcohol in my life.

Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott

If you’re looking for a good read about writing fiction I’d really highly recommend both of these books. If nothing else I think you’ll be encouraged by the shared struggles their writing reveals. Of course they’re also fantastic writers. The read alone is worth while.