As writers, we’ve learned that content services require the writer to use a variety of styles. Also important to a writer is the use of higher level of grammatical skill. It’s important to remember that following the rules of grammar is not always the best way.
Apart from the basics, like capitalization after a full stop, the use of double or triple negatives, misspelled words, or misuse of homonyms there are many other things your teacher taught you as hard and fast rules that are really not so dire should you break them. You may have conformed to avoid the possibility of receiving red slash marks over your writing, but now is the time to break out of the mold. The following are some “rules” that are meant to be broken.
Sentence fragments — incomplete sentences — are generally frowned upon while in school. A sentence fragment crafted well, though, creates or enhances a mood for the reader:
“The movie was exhilarating. Exciting, suspenseful, thrilling. Simply unforgettable.”
Fragments give color and style. Practice using them to give your writing punch.
The comma is a writer’s best friend. But even your best friend can become tedious if he is always making you pause. “I think, and I could be wrong, but I really don’t think so, that my dog, Opie, is, like, the best dog in the whole, wide world.” And I do truly believe that, but the reader is probably hiccuping over my entire sentence. Comma placement is vital to a reader’s understanding, but beware of using too many commas and making the read annoying.
Have you ever been told, “You must never begin a sentence with a conjunction”? I have always wished to ask, “But why?” This, unfortunately, has been one of those rules that has no standing. It has merely been passed down from the annals of time as just “one of those things” you must never do. But we are going to make our own rules. And everyone will be so pleased we did. So feel free to just ignore that rule and conjunction-ize away.
What other rules have you always wondered about? There are so many rules that if no one ever broke them we would have missed out on well-crafted and soul-stirring writing. Create, explore and write to pass along to us all.
Wendy Y is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.