My first short story was nearly my last. I took a lot of time and passion with the endeavor. Bit by bit, word by word, I felt the prose shined beautifully. However, wanting to confirm that I had crafted something of merit, I posted a short story on a reviewing forum. After several days of no feedback, I asked if I had posted in the wrong forum. The response that was given crushed me. No one wants to read a bunch of grammar mistakes. At the time, I couldn’t understand what was so important about grammar that they would completely dismiss my story. I felt like they were throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Now that I’ve written several things, here is why I believe grammar is so important.
When setting a stage, there are three walls. The wall that is facing the audience is open so that the audience can see what is happening in the scene. An actor is considered “breaking the fourth wall” when they speak directly to the audience. This break takes the audience out of the scene, as the character would never talk directly to the wall. Grammar has the same jarring effect. Grammar mistakes pull the reader out of the sentence and shines a magnifying glass on something silly. When a reader is out of the trance they were put in, getting back into that rhythm becomes much harder for them. If the exiting keeps happening, the context of the piece fails horribly because all the tension is let out.
Cleaner is Quicker
Having excellent grammar means that writing is a much more immediate process. Every piece a writer builds should go through several levels of copy-editing. Copy-editing is making sure the sentences are grammatically correct. Having fewer errors to correct speeds up the total time needed to write. Focusing on grammar also speeds up writing time, as much of grammar is focused on establishing clear, concise information. An author can relay their information in a quicker manner as information is with a lot less filler.
Selling yourself is an essential part of writing. If a potential buyer notices a grammar mistake, they may believe that the quality presented is beneath their standards. Some of these types of advertising include inquiry letters, email correspondence, and various types of interviews.
While not utilized by many professional authors, content mills present a viable option to start a person’s writing career. Many of these content mills establish the level you can write with two things. The first thing they ask for is a writing sample. The second thing they may ask for is a grammar test. Getting a fantastic rating on the grammar test may be the difference between getting in or not getting in.
These are several of the fundamental reasons to invest time in developing better grammar. However, as a writer, establishing better writing habits is the key to making the best content possible. Building better content means additional opportunities in the future to write.