1. Slappydappy
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    Slappydappy Member

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    I have not been in a Writing or English class in a long while...what should I do?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Slappydappy, Jan 4, 2012.

    I am in the process of writing a novel, and I realize that it's been forever since I've been in a Writing or English class. I've read so many books that writing comes second nature, and I can usually write large chunks without any spelling or structure errors, but even so, I frequently find myself switching tenses (past or present) and just flat out not being consistent. For instance, I change Point of Views randomly, etc. Verbs, Adverbs, Pronouns...I don't even know what any of those things are (although I probably use them correctly without knowing it). Even in this post I am making, I am sure I've made mistakes, with commas or something else. I realize an editor would fix most of the errors, but I want to become a better writer all the same. I want to master the fundementals, so I can recognize my mistakes and correct them, and even break them when the time comes (and develop my own style).

    Should I take a local writing class at a college? Or is there a writing book I could pick up that specifically teaches me these things? I work in a school, and I almost thought about borrowing an English book from one of the teachers here, but those are like a thousand pages and filled with junk (classwork).

    I may get on You Tube and learn some stuff as well, but it would be nice to have a handy book to reference. Sorry if this question is so weird.
     
  2. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    There are plenty of books about writing books, but I think the problem is that you're 'writing a novel'. What you're actually doing is writing a 'First Draft', that will eventually, after editing and rewrites, become a novel. So don't worry about mistakes, just write down the story so you have it all down. After you've written the first draft, which is not intended to be read by anyone but yourself, you put the draft away for a while, then take it out and use your editorial mind to polish the draft into novel.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Style isn't something that can be taught, but I will say that new writers tend to mimic styles of writers they admire, which is perfectly fine. As you write more, you'll develop your own style of writing.

    As for grammar, there are plenty of books and websites on that. You should consider borrowing a few grammar books and going through them. Besides, you'll find that as you read and write more, you'll naturally get better at grammar, spelling, etc.

    Also, I should mention that you shouldn't count on an editor to fix punctuation and grammar problems. It's assumed that all good writers have a good grasp on those things.
     

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