Grammar and Vocabulary Matter



Do grammar and vocabulary matter any more? It wouldn’t seem so when you take a look at texting, email and even some blogs. Have to confess I use shortcuts when texting – no upper case, abbreviations that only make sense to someone in the 21st century  and, yes, I’m also guilty of ignoring punctuation.

Why? Because of the nature of the beast. Texting is instantaneous, like chatting. We don’t necessarily speak in perfect sentences or with good grammar so this seems to work for texting and the casual email.

 AUG. 15 The Dreaded Synopsis Made Easy (click here) 

AUG. 29 – Draft Your Query Letter (click here)

SEPT. 5 – Learn How to Find a Literary Agent  (click here)

But when it comes to writing a novel, or your blog (which literary agents, publishers, readers and the general public may judge you by)  you should use proper grammar and the correct vocabulary. Yes, grammar and vocabulary do matter … especially if you are a writer.

As writers, words are the tools we use to construct our story. And vocabulary is one of the most powerful of those tools. After all, if someone doesn’t understand what we are saying, then we have failed miserably. A good vocabulary allows you to communicate not only your ideas, but the thoughts and emotions of the characters that populate your novel, plus it allows the reader to visualize the world you have created through the art of description. The right word at the right time makes all the difference.

Just remember that having a rich vocabulary is not about using the most intricate or difficult word you can find, or using jargon. Think about vocabulary as choosing the best dress for the occasion.  dressesYou may have twenty-five gorgeous dresses in your closet, but the blue jewel tone is the one that will best display your assets for that particular occasion. That’s the one you go with.

In the same way, grammar can make or break your story.  Many writers whine that grammar is not their best suit. So learn it. It’s a bad carpenter that blames his tools for his shoddy work and it’s a bad writer that blames grammar for a poor story. Just like a carpenter needs to use a saw, so too, the writer needs to  acquire a rich vocabulary and to learn the rules of English grammar.


2016 Summer Writing Classes in Oakville

Creative Writing 101 – Tuesday afternoons Aug.2 – Sept. 13 (no class Aug. 9)

Crafting Your Novel – Wednesday afternoons Aug. 3 – Sept. 14 (no class Aug. 10)

For more details click on the links or email

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