6 Answers Writers Have for the Grammar Police

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.

Read more…


30 thoughts on “6 Answers Writers Have for the Grammar Police

  1. Fabulous post over there. I hopped over and left a comment. I have “met” so many wonderful authors since connecting with Marcia and her followers. I would have followed the blog, Kassandra, but all I could find was an RSS feed???

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for alerting me to that, Mae. I’ve let my partner know that once again the signup via email has disappeared (she’s more diplomatic dealing with our website geek than I am). Every time WordPress updates, something changes that we don’t want to change. Grr!

      So glad you liked the post though, and I too am really enjoying the gang of writers here at The Write Stuff!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this post with us, Kass. I apologize for being late to comment, but I was gone all day yesterday, meeting with some local book lovers, and fell face down in bed when I got home. (Getting up at 5:30 in the morning will do that to me, these days.)

    It’s a great post, and I will leave my subject-related comments on Misterio. Suffice it to say that I do agree with all the points you made. Fiction writing has to keep up with the way people think and talk today, at least to some extent. And the rules are different for that now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • For me, all rules are pretty much null and void in dialogue. A writer should know exactly how his characters speak, and go with it. Even the ones who are a bit more erudite won’t sound like a textbook. A couple days works for me, as in “It’s been a couple days since you posted this, and it’s still being shared.”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: 6 Answers Writers Have for the Grammar Police — The Write Stuff | Arrowhead Freelance and Publishing

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