Warning grammar carnage and cursing contained within.
Grammar is important to any language or writing system. You need it so you can tell a story or write a paper and have the reader understand what it is you are saying. There are many styles out there: MLA, AP, Chicago Style, other styles that I cannot remember at this moment.
Anyway, none of these really matter in regards toward fiction. In fact, fiction is the one place you can break the rules in regards toward grammar. It’s a place that is about style and storytelling ability. Granted, you shouldn’t be moronic about it, but there comes a time when you should just say screw it.
Now, I am not going off about grammar in general, again, we need that; what I am going off about are the people who give a shit about it. I don’t mean editors, editors are awesome, because they can see where a problem is and how to fix it accordingly, what I am talking about are the people who nitpick, complain, and bitch about comma splices and run on sentences.
I find it funny how that term is seen as an almost sincere term these days. You know we’re calling you a Nazi right? A fascist regime that took over a good chunk of Europe and killed countless people by either having them go to summer camps that no one ever left or by starting a damn war. We are saying you are them! And yet, I find t-shirts that put that saying on par with Snoopy or Hello Kitty!
Many a writer has chosen their style and that style often breaks the rules of grammar and it tells us something about the story itself while we are reading it. If a writer chooses what to break and then runs into someone who says, “You know, you got it wrong.” Guess what they’re going to do?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. You wanna know why Nazi? It’s because as a writer you have to trudge through so much crap, criticism, and commas that by the time you read it they really could give a damn about whether or not that semi-colon should usage.
Literature is an artistic expression.
Grammar is something that I have struggled with since the time I was very young. I have Dyslexia and ADD and this made school very hard for me as a kid. I grew a huge chip on my shoulder in regards toward grammar and it’s many forms since I was constantly ridiculed and nagged about it growing up.
I hated grammar, but then as I became more educated, I found I loved grammar and hated the people who were using it as their paddle to whack others.
When I wrote Where Monsters Lie & Other Tales I was so anal about the grammar and yet there were some problems in the text even after reading the book countless times. I was freaking out about it. I have revised the book twice since hitting the publish button because I didn’t want anyone to be able to point to me and say, “You’re stupid and your book is stupid. Now pardon me while I circle jerk about how literature hit its zenith in the early 20th century.”
I had this Grammar Nazi on my back since day one of this book. That sieg heiling asshole has been there at every turn like the boogie man and I am done with him and others like him. At this point I know how to kill him, and that’s getting the Bear Jew of my mind to club him to death with a baseball bat.
Nothing I write will ever be perfect. Nothing that has been written has ever been perfect. This is because we are humans and we have different tastes or sensibilities about things and can care only so much about one thing or another.
I am okay with my stories being the best that my editing team and I can make them. I say this because what is created is magical and so far everyone has enjoyed it, warts and all. It’s been a relief to hear that while my mind has been attending book burnings.
In closing, I am not editing this blog. It’s raw, 1st draft stuff, and frankly it comes from the hip, the place where I am shooting from at the moment. This is a rant, but here is something that is true, write from the fire of your heart and you cannot go wrong.
Unless you don’t use the Oxford Comma.