Draft for the Sullivan Family, Re-Post
This comment would not post and is in reference to this post by Michael J. Sullivan: grammar nazi post.
Though I am attempting to write a type of comment or review to praise this post for the second time, I will attempt to say the same things I somehow deleted. They took me a while to say; life continues. This was a great post and I am an immediate fan of M. Sullivan and his wife as some form of a successful editorial independent publishing team.
I am a lover of math, English, and all other known forms of study. That is not to say that I think I know everything, howbeit. It is a wondrous and exciting thing to write one’s thoughts down on paper and revise them in such a manner that they will impress others as they read. I love grammar, study and learn and remember and appreciate it as I can.
My most basic notion I utilize in writing and maintaining what style I have learned so far is the idea of consistency. However you use your commas, do so the same way every time. This way your reading audience will establish a trust with you, and you can write in somewhat of an impressive manner. I read about consistency in a book from Writers Digest. My two worst dilemmas in writing were the use of colloquial phrases and the passive voice. “How do we not write in the passive voice?” I asked myself at one point, “Are not all of these stories told as if they have occurred in the past?” I revised what I could within certain self-set time frames to the active voice, and let the rest remain unchanged. It sounded better that way. It just did. Some forms of writing do not really occur with minimal effort for some of us. That is why we try try try. Then, we are done.
What of device? Literary devices are useful – we use them as we manufacture words. The only blog I follow dedicated to poetry is K. A. Brace’s A Mirror Obscura. I prefer to construct well-written prose or classic poetry strict to its meter rather than free-form poetry; his posts are usually rather deep in meaning. Brace is known for his defining of new words, uses at least five words not found in common dictionaries in his about page I attempted to revise for him. His retorts were actually astounding.
Such great artwork, their poetic forms’ meanings need no defined structure. I read those posts as I can. On the subject of device, it is always fun to devise new ways of pleasing our audience. I write out a composition and revise it. I then proof it and re-read it a few times, to have some minimal form of presentation of sentences that just may be good enough for a somewhat intelligible audience. Want to read something impossible to find a flaw with? Try a selection from Carve Magazine; I read about what the winners go through to present even one single short story for a competition. I read and reviewed one story. It was nice. I like Carve because they will speak with their authors contributing and provide intelligible feedback, even though many many stories never make it to publication, there. They claim to be a high-volume magazine. They, for me, are part of what inspires any author that submits short stories to start a fiction magazine of their own, including inexpensive editorial services and low-cost writing competitions for new writers trying to publish. We will see.
Back to topic, narrative hook is not the only literary device we can discuss. I love the idea that our language is a living language. Oh how great it has been defined in the above set of prose. I love the manufacture and use of new words. I usually do not do such a thing on purpose, albeit. Most of my newborn words are very natural and consist of parts of words that have been used for many years, maybe they simply fall from the sky in adoration and praise of Jesus, our Lord above.
My most recent post was on writing an impressive short story. Neophytic at best, my “On Writing” page’s first post would gladly welcome a discussion on literary devices. New ones. We, as writers, use devices all of the time without noticing that we could name them and re-use them accordingly. I think we, as humans, have so many emotions that our language does not even begin to have words for their various forms of existence. Especially in common use.
I absolutely loved reading this post and was very happy to understand what it was speaking of. As long as we get our points across, our readers should not be too upset with our choice in grammar style. In order to pursue some effort in developing a style I could even attempt to be proud of, I read my Strunk and White book every chance I get. It helps us to avoid verbosity and reminds us of what common errors we can refrain from. I am of the mind that most well-written sentences should be able to pass that pocket-books standards – mine do not necessarily do that. I know. Though some of Kane’s sentence structures seem fancy, once learned, I hope they will be rather impressive and powerful, too.
Many constructs are praised in style via consistency. I am currently reading the most exciting book on grammar that I have encountered: Thomas S. Kane’s “The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing“. The book is like beneficial for any writer. I want to read it at least two more times… I must get it down! 🙂
Who dares to give us an absolute on whether to put a comma before “and” in a list? As stated, whoever thinks they are accurate. According to Kane, a word list utilizing commas and no “and” is said to be emphatic and an asyndeton sentence structure (pg 216). He reminds us that while polysyndeton and asyndeton sentence structures are formidable in their luster, they are emphatic and should be used sparingly so as not to stick out too far according to the audience. A polysyndeton sentence uses “and” or other conjunctions repeatedly and no commas. I use them rarely, think the structure was used in a song in the classic “The Wizard of Oz”.
Many things inspired me to pursue writing. I wanted to write a book before I turned 40. Did. The first book I ever published is here. I wrote it ten years after I was no longer in the college I did not graduate from, had no grammar books available. I eventually gained access to spelling and grammar checkers and grammar books, however. I still found it rather difficult to choose what stories I wanted to do and how to write what I was saying. I, at the least, found some form of consistency to birth what style I have, so far, and wrote those first stories. I am learning, as always. I have my first edition revised. I need to revise it a few more times, though, and we will all see if it can magically poof itself to amazon.com in pdf form.
As an absolute lover of the study various grammatical structures, I thought to myself one day, “Why is it that every time I read a best seller, ‘he/she said’ is not included in the use of dialogue, yet it is always told to be used according to even college grammar books?” At the time, I was reading Dean Koontz’s, “Relentless“, an adventure book every writer should read. His dialogue was consistent with other professional writing, as was his proper use of sentence fragments, be them speckled about in his text as small granulated sugar particles sprinkled heavily atop a thick fluffy pancake. I am a huge fan of Koontz – absolutely loved that book.
I am always happy to praise the prose of masters, the comments of independent authors. It is with great joy that I have been able to comment on this post. I discovered M. J. Sullivan earlier today, found this blog and read this post – I am glad that I did. It is always exciting to read someone’s thoughts and ideas that has suffered the struggle. Success stories are there; I am always happy to hear them. I am currently working on my second publication and plan to write two novels I have mapped out already.
To the Sullivan team, God bless you; you are an inspiration to us all. I am an immediate fan. I look forward to reading at least one of your novels, promise to review it when I do. May all of your days continue in success. Thank you for reading my comment. Goodnight – @jcm3rockstar. (this comment’s word count: 1463 🙂 ) What happens when a comment cannot be posted? We share it some other way, thankfully, with love. 🙂