Many amateur writers mistakenly believe that they don’t need a solid grounding in the language in order to write. After all, great writers break the rules all the time, right?
The fact is, those writers break the rules precisely because they know which rules to break. You can’t write well if you don’t know which rules can be broken and which can’t – and in order to know that, you’ve got to know the rules in the first place.
If you want to be a good writer, or even a great one, get started with a solid grounding in your language.
- Spelling: know what the word is supposed to look like before you try to spell it in dialect
- Vocabulary: know enough words to say what you want to say
- Definitions: know what a noun is, or a possessive; understand what goes on behind your sentences so you know how to achieve the effect you want to achieve
- Process: know how to make the proper plural or past tense; understand how the words change depending on what you want them to do
- Grammar: know how to match your verb to your noun, or how to catch a run-on sentence or sentence fragment before you try to change things around
Any good language textbook will be useful if you didn’t pick up enough in school. Learn the rules so you can break them.