Strunk and White… The Elements of Style…
Yup, tossed it without hesitation into a garbage can. And I own a bookstore and never toss away books. But that book is so evil to fiction writers, I felt dirty even touching it.
I was cleaning and packing Kris and my nonfiction library to bring some of the books to Vegas last week. There, tucked between two other books and hiding on a lower shelf was a copy of the book of evil. I saw it, grabbed it and without a thought flipped it into a garbage can.
Why? Because that book can do more damage to a writer’s voice than pretending to follow the Chicago Manual of Style. I was afraid that some of the stupidity in the small thing would seep through my fingers and I would starting writing boring, plain characters.
Now, before I get fifty letters from nonfiction writers about how important that grammar stuff is, I get it. For nonfiction.
But my focus is fiction.
Creative fiction with real characters.
Characters that do not speak in grammatically perfect sentences. I learned all those grammar lessons early and have been working my entire fiction career to forget and break them.
Perfect grammar is perfect for nonfiction. Really boring nonfiction. Voiceless, plain old nonfiction.
Grammar for fiction writers is a tool to use and not use, to understand and then forget. And to break in a different way with every character.
Characters just don’t speak that perfect English crap. At least not and have a voice or accent.
So if you happen to run across a copy of that horrid little book, toss it away. It will be the only book I will ever suggest you do that to. Don’t let it poison one more possible fiction writer.
And for heaven’s sake, don’t open it.
Both of the new workshops, The Indie Game and Fear have started on Sunday.
The first week’s webinars will be a week from Sunday for both.
We did both workshops originally as the weekend workshops. We are not changing out the videos because other than a mention of a day instead of a week, the teaching is fine in them. And the live webinars will really add to the learning.
Sign up on Teachable at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also starting on Tuesday and Wednesday…
June Regular Workshops
All twelve June Regular six-week workshops are now available on Teachable for sign-ups. The few of you who have signed up through me using credits please write me again if you haven’t gotten a code to get into the workshop.
Class #61… June 5th … Think Like a Publisher
Class #62… June 5th … Endings
Class #63… June 5th … Point of View
Class #64… June 5th … Writing Mysteries
Class #65… June 5th … Speed
Class #66… June 5th … Teams in Fiction
Class #67… June 6th … Depth in Writing
Class #68… June 6th … How to Edit Your Own Work
Class #69… June 6th … Character Development
Class #70… June 6th … Writing Secondary Plot Lines
Class #71… June 6th … Advanced Depth
Class #72… June 6th … Novel Structure
July-October Schedule coming shortly.