Okay, the title to chapter fifteen of The Irresistible Novel is actually– Gerunds, Participial Phrases, Sentence Fragments, Beginning with Conjunctions, Ending with Prepositions, and Passive Voice. A bit of a long title so I’ve shortened for my post title this week to Various Grammar Rules.
Now that I’ve got your brain all mangled with grammar terms let’s jump in and see what Jeff Gerke has to say about using any of these in the writing of your novel. (Disclaimer: As always remember there is not one perfect way to write. We each have a unique voice so please take everything below as helpful information not prescriptive absolutes! The author would agree!)
You may need a quick refresher on some of these grammatical terms:
Beginning with Conjunctions
Ending with Prepositions
Take a minute and remind yourself what each of these are if necessary. The one thing that each of the members of the lengthy list have in common is that many teachers, writers, and editors will tell you to avoiding their use in your writing.
Those who are opposed to cutting out the use of all of the above from their writing do so because fiction writing and academic writing are two different animals. Formal writing is best left to schooling and academic journals of educational purposes. Fiction is a form of writing with the purpose of entertaining and expressing oneself. Many people believe fiction is not to be bound by silly rules that readers don’t notice. The average reader (like many authors as well) won’t even know some of the rules from above. And if done correctly the readers won’t even notice when an author uses any of them.
“Fiction is not the place for grammatical purity” (Gerke 98)
Others believe that the use of the terms from above in your writing weakens it; therefore, they should all be avoided in the construction of fiction.
When it comes to how you should write do what is natural for you. If you are distracted by sentences beginning with a conjunction, then leave them out of your writing. But if you are anything like me you see that their use can be helpful in fictional or informal writing.
The Ameri Brit Mom
3 thoughts on “Various Grammar Rules: The Irresistible Novel”
A helpful refresher. Like you, I think that fiction writers can take liberties and for good reason. When I read fiction, I don’t want to read a formal essay. But I do appreciate good grammar!
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It has always baffled me why we use mostly fiction to teach writing. You are correct, it is a separate writing form with its own rules, or non rules.
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