Breaking the Rules—Gilli Style

My name’s Gillian Archer and I regularly break grammar rules.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to have a knowledge (I almost said healthy fear) of grammar. Although a large part of me truly believes that the rules for commas change on a monthly basis. At least it seems like the rules I remember from high school don’t necessarily apply anymore, so now I liberally sprinkle them throughout my manuscripts and hope I get them more right than wrong. Dictionary

What other grammar rules do I regularly break?

Sentence fragments. This was something that was pointed out to me by my local writing group. One of the ladies was complimenting my use of fragments. To be honest I never really noticed it before. But she was right—I use ‘em a lot. It might be because I want to portray a frenetic mindset. Jumping from one thought to the next without finishing the first. Other times it’s to emphasize an important point or character realization. But I like them so I’m gonna keep using them!

Adverbs. I love these suckers…to the horror of my editors. Despite the many, many adverbs I’ve deleted prior to submitting, I still get dinged on my love of adverbs. Something tells me this is gonna be life long struggle 😉

Starting sentences with conjunctions. You’ll notice throughout even this blog post I’ve been guilty of this. Sometimes it’s to break up my sentence constructions—they can’t all be noun, verb, clause. *yawn* Other times it’s because I like the way it flows or it sounds authentic to the character.

Above all I think a liberal sprinkling of ‘rule breaking’ is part and parcel of my authorial voice—that ethereal thing all editors and agents talk about that is so hard to quantify sometimes. But for a grammar outlaw like me, it has to be included there 😉

Are you a grammar rule breaker too?


Breaking the Rules—Gilli Style — 2 Comments

  1. I break those same rules–into 100s of pieces. However, with the sense of entitlement that’s been accorded to my generation (Boomers), I think breaking those rules is fair payment for forcing me at a very late age to learn to only leave one space after end-of-sentence punctuation. :-) Good post, Gillian.

  2. I am! Sentence fragments are my friend and I will start a sentence with a conjunction without apology. In fact, I kind of enjoy irritating the grammar nazis with that one.

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