I thought you all would find this post interesting, and Marcia said today would be a good day to reblog it here. Enjoy, and I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
One of the frustrations of being a fiction writer is the occasional need to defend ourselves when accosted by the Grammar Police.
Now, that’s not to say that we don’t sometimes become the Grammar Police ourselves. Most of us have had a lot of training in the use of language, including proper grammar. So we grind our teeth when we see flat-out errors (apostrophes in places they don’t belong is one of my pet peeves).
But often our own grammatical “mistakes” really aren’t mistakes at all.
Certainly we writers do sometimes make boo-boos in our writing. Anytime one is feverishly typing — trying to get the words down before the muse snatches them away again — there is bound to be an occasional “your” slipping in where we meant “you’re.” (That’s why it’s so important for writers to get fresh eyes to proofread their final work.)
But many of the things the Grammar Police see as horrific errors are more examples of literary license and/or the evolution of language.
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:
1. Sentence fragments are okay in fiction. Honest! They are. For emphasis. They should be used sparingly, but it really is okay to leave out the subject, or even the subject and the verb, or some other component of a grammatically-correct sentence, when writing fiction.