1. 33percent
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    33percent Member

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    My grammar is horrible

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by 33percent, Apr 20, 2014.

    I never really got taught in school on proper grammar structure. My cousin pointed out that the grammar was so bad on my first two chapters he couldn't continue to read them. I love to write, I let my imagination run wild and flow into words what I put down. The plan was to continue to write forwhat comes to thought, then when I think it's finished. I'll hire someone to polish my grammar issues. Should I continue to write regardless if my grammar is horrible?

    Well how I view writing a book might be quite different from most people. I think of it as building a car from the ground up, I got to put in the structure in place to hold everything in place. The engine to make the story flow smoothly, and to polish it so go back fixing all the grammar.
     
  2. The Despondent Mind
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    The Despondent Mind Member

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    I would recommend you to re-read your stories on and on, and to use people as your cousin to your advantage. Because whoever can point out mistakes you is extremely helpful. Then after they and you yourself notice the mistakes, try to learn from them.

    It's the basic "trial and error" strategy.
     
  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    What's your goal for the writing? If you're hoping to be published and to make any money from it, then hiring someone to polish the grammar will undermine that goal--you will likely pay more for that than you'd earn from the work. Plus, a knowledge of grammar is a deep part of the writing--cleaning up extensive grammar issues would mean that the voice of the work would to a great degree be your editor's, not yours. And if you're writing for your own pleasure, then paying someone to correct your grammar wouldn't make any sense either.

    So I'd say go ahead and keep writing, but also teach yourself grammar, so that eventually you can go back and polish it yourself.
     
  4. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    It's, "My grammar be horrible.":p
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in re hiring an editor [i provide editing services, though i caution against it], you need to accept the fact that the money you spend on having someone else do what writers must be able to do on their own will most likely never be recouped from the sale of your work...

    so, if you do go ahead with it, be sure you don't need to make it back, because not even the best editor in the world can ever guarantee the work will be accepted by a paying publisher, or will sell well enough to come close to equaling what you paid, if it is... same goes for if you self-publish...

    also, no editor who can do a good enough job for you will be cheap... it will cost many hundreds, to several thousands of dollars [US] for a good, professional editor to bring your book up to publishable/readable standards, depending on how much work it needs, as there are several levels of 'editing'... from simply correcting typos, punctuation and minor grammar glitches, all the way up to a complete rewrite, if the writing quality is poor...

    those who offer to do it cheaply, will not be able to do much [if any] better than you could do on your own... anyone can set up shop and call themselves 'editors' these days, but few will actually be worthy of the title, so vet any you consider using very carefully and be sure to get a sample edit before entering into any agreement for services...

    this is why anyone wanting to have a career as a writer should be able to write well enough to compete with the already established pros... you may find it more practical to spend that money on a good english course, to perfect your grammar, rather than hiring someone to do rewrites of all you turn out...

    love and hugs, maia
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  6. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Except on 'Talk Like A Pirate' Day.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
    peachalulu likes this.
  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    It won't be easy, but it certainly IS possible to polish up your grammar and be/become a writer.

    I'd say approach it like learning a foreign language. Study hard. You can take classes, of course, but if that's not possible for you, try to read everything you can get your hands on, in just about every minute of your spare time. I don't mean grammar books (although a few of those might help) but just general reading, especially the kind of stories you would like to write yourself.

    The more you read, the more you'll get a feel for what sounds and looks right. You might even take a few paragraphs, or even entire chapters from your favourite books and type them up yourself, as practice. Pay attention to where punctuation appears, and how the sentences are put together. If you do this kind of exercise every day, I guarantee you'll get a better feel for what's right and what isn't.

    Nobody's perfect, and we all make mistakes. But when somebody returns your story and tells you your grammar is so bad they can't finish reading it, then you need to address the issue.

    The other respondents on this thread (with the possible exception of @Garball ! :)) are all correct, in my opinion. It's not realistic to write badly, then hire somebody to sort it all out later. Not only will that be horrendously expensive, as @mammamaia and @ChickenFreak both pointed out, but it won't give you the satisfaction that your own writing would do.

    If you have your heart set on being a writer, you do need to get the basics under your belt. To go with your car analogy—I reckon if you're going to build yourself a car you've got to understand auto mechanics.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!
     

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