Cheryl Van Eck:
Today I had a run-in with a man who despises grammar and editors. He did not want to hire an editor to proofread his business pages and emails to clients because he feels that an editor will “twist” his words and his message to adhere to the “ridiculous rules of grammar.”
Grammar is about making your message clearer, not about rules. However, every writer should learn the rules of grammar. This is because grammar, in general, clarifies and beautifies your writing. And when you know the rules, you can break them better. Let me explain.
Pretend you’re at a museum, and there’s a display of Cleopatra’s full headdress and jewelry, with a sign saying, DO NOT TOUCH.
Person A doesn’t read the description or the sign, and reaches out and touches them. He says, “Oh, that’s pretty,” and moves on.
Person B reads the description and the sign, then runs over, puts on all the jewelry and the headdress and gets her friend to take the most epic picture of all time.
Who broke the rules better?
“Bad Guys” and “Good Guys” are on my mind. If the bad guy is ONLY bad and evil with nothing good to be said, you’d better be writing about the Devil himself. And the “bad guy” never thinks he’s bad — he’s doing everything for a reason. I played an evil woman once in a main stage play at BYU. My director said, “She wouldn’t think she is bad or evil. What can you find in her that’s admirable?” Great question. And the “good guy” isn’t always “good” — how boring would that be?
List three good qualities in your “bad guy.” Then list three bad things in your “hero.” How can these qualities help make your story more realistic and/or your characters more sympathetic?
We’re having a dance at the conference.
Boy, am I excited.
I love to dance.
What five songs do you love to dance to?