Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Practically Perfect

It's back to blogging about writing, though I could easy wander off and explore more of Arizona than write about writing.

Besides a computer and the right software (and the better-than-average knowledge of how to use it), there is more to writing than typing into the night. (Even if you write with pen and paper, at some point, the ms has to go digital.)

There is good writing and great writing. In my opinion, perfect grammar is good writing. And... it can be horribly boring. That doesn't make for a great piece of fiction.

Writers [often] either cling tightly to grammar rules or are totally unaware they exist. There are plenty of people who don't know the eight parts of speech or the 48 prepositions, yet they are excellent fiction writers.

While it is important to get the basics of grammar right, so the reader doesn't stumble over every sentence and stop reading, that doesn't make for a great story. The goal is to be practically perfect in matters of grammar while telling a great story.

Great fiction writing is storytelling. Fiction writing is a craft. No one would think of going out and buying a set of wood chisels and a good slab of kiln dried exotic wood and start to intricately carve a door. The craft of writing requires practice, learning the elements of the craft, and mastering them.

In addition to the craft elements, there is a certain amount of industry knowledge needed. A mansucript isn't exactly the same as a term paper in school. (I've listed several items about format in other posts.)

Tomorrow I'll begin a short series on what I think it goes into great fiction. Pay attention if you have the slightest thought of submitting to Cactus Rain when submissions open.


  1. I look forward to it. I copy and paste your advice so I have a useful book of Nadine's tips! It is of serious use.

  2. OMG! Glyn, thank you. You know all of this is just my opinion, right? I hope it helps. I guess people have to read my books to decide for themselves whether I'm a storyteller or just some crazy blogger in Arizona. Heh heh heh. (I know you've read them, don't tell everyone that I'm nuts.)

    Perhaps I need to go set up tags on the sidebar so you can just find the posts when you want them. I'll work on that.