1. MissIvy
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    MissIvy Member

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    Correct this please.....

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by MissIvy, Dec 27, 2006.

    This is how I write ....


    Mary sat at the table across from Jill,

    "what is wrong with you Jill?" she asked.

    Jill sat upright and cried.

    Grammer is my biggest problem in writing. I have been told my story is fine but the grammer is bad. I have always separated my quotes for some reason. Is this wrong or is this correct under certain circumstances?
     
  2. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    If you're wanting to do it in proper format, it should go something like this:

    Mary sat at the table across from Jill. "What is wrong with you, Jill?" she asked.

    Jill sat upright, and cried.

    Yeah, don't separate your quotes like that, it's bad formatting, plus it's a little hard for someone to read.
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Miss Ivy,

    Sapphire is correct:

    But you might try:
    *Adding more information as you go, and avoid repetative inormation (repeated use of Jill so close).
    *Be more conversational (contractions).
    *If Mary (or another character) takes action, the dialogue tag isn't always necessary.

    Try something like:
    Mary sat at the table across from her little sister. "Jill, what's wrong with you?"

    Jill sat upright, and cried.


    I had an article published a while back on the basics of dialogue punctuation and structure that might be helpful:

    http://www.fictionfactor.com/guests/dialoguebasics.html

    Terry
     
  4. MissIvy
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    MissIvy Member

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    Thanks. I guess old habbits are hard to break. Oh and no matter what I write, feel free to correct.
    I have decided to go ahead and start writing stories again and I don't want to turn anyone off after the first sentence by my lack of tack in writing.
     
  5. ariella
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    ariella Contributing Member

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    I am sure that people will be more than willing to help you out with this and will probably be able to see past the grammar problems. Don't worry about it too much to begin with, get your stuff down and then go back over it and see if you can pick anything up. Give it time and you'll be doing fine with your grammar.
     
  6. Fantasy of You
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    Fantasy of You Banned

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    If you do not know basic grammar, you should learn it. There's no excuse not to, and once you have, you'll improve a lot faster. There are plenty of books and sites you can learn this stuff from, so I suggest you do.

    - FoY
     
  7. Mr Baatard
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    Mr Baatard Member

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    Hi! The last sentence should not have a comma. This is a complete sentence with only one independent clause. Since 'and cried' cannot stand as a complete sentence, no punctuation should be inserted. People tend to think that and, but, and or must have commas before them. This is only true if you are connecting two independent clauses in one sentence.

    As for the first part, no carriage return (how old does that make me sound?) after Jill. Also, that is the end of the sentence, so place a period there instead of a comma. Then place the dialogue from Mary right after the sentence.

    Bad grammar can be terribly distracting. Your reader may be too put off by it to follow the story. You should read up on basic sentence structure now to save yourself embarrassment later. Hope this helps! :)

     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in addition to all of the above, which i heartily ditto, 'sat upright' is kind of silly, since one usually does [unless slouching, of course], so why say so?...

    if you meant she wasn't sitting upright before crying, then you must word it differently, to let us know that... but if she's crying, i don't think she'd be sitting stiffly upright, do you?
     

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