1. Passero
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    Passero Member

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    Bad at spelling and grammar

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Passero, Jan 1, 2014.

    When I was young (18-19 years old) I wrote quite a few poems in my native language (Dutch).
    I loved writing them.
    Currently I am 31 years old and almost the entire time my mind is submerged in other worlds. I fantasize quite a bit about all sorts of things.

    When I see a movie or read a book I end up making my own story in my head.

    I always felt like I want to make those worlds more real by writing them down in stories.
    I often tried but failed in most cases or forgot about it.

    Now I bought myself a book about creative writing. It has a lot of nice tips and exercises to keep you writing every day. I'm only in the second chapter and learned a lot.

    Now I just have some doubts... English is not my native language however I want to write in English because there are just not many places I can share work in Dutch.
    I've also been living in London for a few years now so my English is improving quite a bit.

    However I know that my spelling and grammar isn't good. Even in Dutch I make a lot of mistakes. I'm just not good at it and perhaps experience will help me.
    How bad will this impact my writing? Maybe it will impact the readers of my work more than it will impact me as some people can be really picky about spelling or grammar.

    I'm trying to read and reread my work a lot however sometimes it's just because I don't know...

    In the past I already wrote a book. This was a technical book about a specific topic in IT. There were some people at the publisher who fixed my spelling and grammar.
    Now I just want to write stories as a hobby. I have no intention on working with a publisher so I have to make most out of it but I am afraid I will get a lot of grief from readers commenting on my spelling or grammar...
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    As a writer, you need to have a good grasp of grammar and spelling. If there are a lot of mistakes in your stories, people aren't going to want to read them. There are some very good resources online that will help with your grammar, and you can find those with a quick Google search. You can also find the classic The Elements of Style by Strunk and White online here. The Purdue Online Writing Lab is another good place to look.
     
  3. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    You can always get your work edited. It will cost you, but it would be worth it, since it would improve the story tremendously. However, the first port of call is to use Word, or similar program and do a spell check and grammar check. That will clean up a lot of stuff immediately. The rest is about tone and style, and that is something that you should decide. You can even post your work, and request a critique, and some people might take the time to do a basic edit. I would do that, if the writer requested help on those lines.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I'm against hiring an editor. Editors are too expensive, and the money you'll earn from your story/novel won't justify the cost. Also, don't rely on spell check programs; they make mistakes.
     
  5. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I say just write your stories in Dutch and maybe one day have them translated by a pro.
    It's the best way to write with quality.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    even though i am an editor, i also advise against it, as it will cost much more than you can hope to be paid for the work...

    i only take on editing clients if they can justify the expense as being for the lessons my editing provides, so they'll be better able to edit their own work in future...

    if mentoring would help you, passero, i always have time for one more mentee... and it's free!

    love and hugs, maia

    ps: WELKOM!
     
  7. David K. Thomasson
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    David K. Thomasson Contributing Member

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    If your original post is a fair sample of your English, you're doing fine. I've seen American college students who couldn't write half as well.

    My advice: Go ahead and write your stories, then have an editor correct mistakes in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. You can find someone who won't charge an arm and a leg.

    Ernest Hemingway couldn't spell kat, and he did all right.
     
  8. Passero
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    Passero Member

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    Thanks for the advice everybody.

    I still am doing some daily exercises to get my writing mind up to speed so it will take a while before I post any work :)

    I'm sure my spelling and grammar has improved the last years as I am actually writing a lot. I wrote dozens of blog post and for my job I have to write large formal reports so those things will also help.

    @mammamaia: thanks for the suggestion. I will keep it in mind when I actually wrote something I want to share.
     

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