Tag Archives: narrative

What Grammar Problems Do You Have When Writing?

English has some of the most difficult grammar of any language. There are so many rules, yet many exceptions to those rules. English breaks the rules often. Although it may not be the most difficult language, it is one of the most unusual languages. Why? Because it’s had influences from several languages and is more like the Frankenstein’s monster of languages.

Writers have to deal with English grammar when writing. Some are not experts at grammar, while others seem to have a wonderful way with the language. But what do you have difficulty with in writing?

In my case, I find that I use the passive voice too much. I use it correctly, but it’s not effective when writing fiction. It doesn’t have the feeling of action. The narrative must be active so the reader feels like they’re in the story along with the characters. I don’t have this problem as much now, but sometimes it creeps in.

What about you? When you write, what kind of grammar issues do you have? Let me know in the comments below.

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Narrative: Simple Is Best?

Writing takes a long time to perfect.  Actually, I don’t think anyone ever completely perfects their writing, they just keep learning.  Well, I’m also a reader.  I read almost everyday.  But you know what?  I usually don’t pay much attention to style while I read.  I get myself immersed in the experience, rather than analyse the writer’s style.  If I did that, I couldn’t get myself into the story.

Well, today, I decided to just reread a page I’d read in A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin.  I read specifically for how he writes the narrative.  What I discovered was interesting.  He tends to use very straightforward and simple sentences, especially regarding action and thoughts.  He uses adjectives here and there, and he uses descriptive verbs, but the structure is very simple.  He doesn’t get flowery with prose at all.

This style of writing is great for action.  It’s quick, it’s dirty, and it’s very effective.  I can see it very well in my mind.  Some authors try too hard to make their writing pretty, filled with metaphors and less common words that look intelligent.  I read a book that was mostly old and tired figures of speech, and it made the narrator sound like a sarcastic smartass.  It was difficult to read. Now, Martin just goes straight for the action and what is happening.  It feels immediate.  It’s happening now.  I like that.

What do you think?  Is simple the best way to go?