Ever read something, say a post on a forum for writers, and been shocked at the bad grammar and lack of sentence structure? I am. A lot more than I should be.
If you want to write, you need to know how words work. You need to know how grammar works. That “txt” speak doesn’t fly for novels. I mean, we all leave typos behind in our creative wake, but sometimes it’s like reading the comments on a YouTube video. No punctuation. No commas. Half the words misspelled. The other half doesn’t make sense. It’s horrifying that these people want to write books. Their writing suggests that they’ve never opened a book to see how it works.
Now, anyone can learn to structure sentences; it takes practice and a will to learn. Some of the stuff I wrote years ago is horrific. I mean, run-ons that didn’t make sense, dependent clause after dependent clause, just on and on. An ocean of scenery and passive action.
Having a “cool” story is one thing. Writing that story down is another thing entirely. Everyone has an idea for a book, movie, or TV show. Coming up with an idea is easy as singing in the shower. Hammering that idea out takes time, patience, knowledge of your medium, preparation, and research. A novel is a clockwork of dozens of things working seamlessly together as to appear as one – narration, plot, voice, character motivation, foreshadowing, and exposition, but also commas, paragraphs, periods, independent clauses, complex/simple sentences, serial commas, fragments, quote marks, and semi-colons; do you know how they work?
You don’t have to when you start. You can learn. That’s the awesome part of writing, or anything – you can learn. You may not be as good at something, like me and music (no talent) but you can learn. It’s been said that some people are better storytellers than others. It’s true. Steven King is a better storyteller than I, at least for now. He’s also had a lot more experience and practice than I have. Thirty years from now I’ll be better than those starting. It’s just how it is.
Lesson – Learn. Achieve. Become.