1. Albirich
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    Albirich Active Member

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    Tips to improve grammar and expressions?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Albirich, Nov 18, 2013.

    Okay, I got decent grammar when I'm writing normal dialogue. But there is a big difference when it comes to writing a novel. My biggest problem is comma usage, I think.

    It has been noted to me by a beta reader that I got most of the things spot on, except for grammar and expressions.

    I'm Norwegian so that obviously makes it a bit more difficult for me.

    I keep banging my head against the wall and I stop myself from writing to the extent that I can.
    I know first drafts aren't supposed to be perfect, but that won't help me to learn. Or well maybe, I don't know...I look back at things I wrote 6-7 months ago and I laugh, that is how bad it was. I know I have improved... but I'm not good enough.

    I digress as usual though. I don't know if this is enough information, you'd most likely need an excerpt or something, but I won't share openly.

    But if you got any tips or thumb rules or whatever helps/helped you.



    I could use a more active beta reader (the one I got now is pretty busy thus can only give a small portion of feedback) ---If you are interested just pm and I'll think about it.
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    If commas are your issue, there's plenty of good resources on them on Google.
    Then, you can try taking what they say and do "practice" stories where your only concern is the punctuation. Wing everything else.
    That way, you'll get used to seeing and identifying where you need to add and not add commas as well as how to use them.

    That's my advice.

    Also, don't be shy about posting a paragraph or three where the punctuation is concerned.
    Most of us aren't rabid wolves out to tear the workshop entries apart ;p
     
  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Just curious ...is there some reason you don't want to share an excerpt on the forum? Just a couple of paragraphs from something you've written, posted in the appropriate section of the workshop, would give us some idea of what your writing style is like.

    You can say you're ONLY looking for feedback on punctuation and grammar, and mention that you're Norwegian, writing in your second language. (Which, as a single language speaker myself, I find amazing and worthy of congratulation. You already appear to write better English than some of us native speakers!)

    It certainly can't hurt to trust the forum with a small piece? So we can get an idea of what you write?

    I don't know if this is enough information, you'd most likely need an excerpt or something.

    Sounds to me like you already know ...you're going to have to show us something if you want helpful feedback!

    As to what 'helped' me ...reading constantly all my life helped me to get a sense of what was right and what probably wasn't. You could do worse than read lots of books in English, particularly ones that are similar to what you're trying to write.
     
  4. Albirich
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    Albirich Active Member

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    But wouldn't that hurt my chances of publishing or something like that?

    I didn't mean I'm only looking for feedback on punctuation and grammar, any feedback at all would be great, but if I recall correctly wouldn't it hurt my chances of publishing if I shared openly? Would it not be better to do it privately?
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    How large is the work in question? If you're working on a novel length item, a couple of paragraphs aren't going to hurt you. Much ado is made of that, and it tends to get oversold in the tell. ;)
     
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  6. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, a paragraph or three won't hurt your chances of being published.
    Odds are you'll change them anyways so they won't even be exactly the same anymore.
    Or you can use something you don't plan on publishing or write a ditty specifically for the feed back.
     
  7. Albirich
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    Albirich Active Member

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    How large? It is way too large for one of my writing skills to embark on. I dunno if you've read previous posts, but it is ca. 500-600 page first novel.

    So I'll just throw the paragraphs in the Workshop? Do they need to have context or whatever?
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This question tells me you're not one to venture into the Workshop. First things first. You need to have given constructive critique to at least two items already in the Workshop before the automatic gatekeeper will even let you post a new thread. Doing so will also give you an opportunity to see what people say or don't say when they post their items for critique. ;)
     
  9. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, 2 week rule and 2 reviews per workshop post.
    Or something similar, the actual rule thread is more precise.
     
  10. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    Well, if you get a little better each day, and you live long enough...

    99% of new writers are facing major structural problems not failures of grammar in individual lines. And such problems are obvious in a page or two. When you post you're looking for comments on the writing, not the plot. So post your first scene (or at least to where they would put a commercial break were it made for TV).
     

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