I bet every single author, from the hobbyist sketching stories in a notebook to world-famous writers, has some kind of grammatical tick. For me, it’s their/there. I know the difference. But I’ll still use the wrong form. Let’s be honest; the English language is a grammar nightmare.
Of course, there’s no shortage of tips and advice to help you get your grammar right. From guides that go into extensive detail to simple reminders that focus on the most common mistakes.
Why, you might wonder, would you need another list of grammar tips? It’s simple; grammar is messy and the more reinforcing and contextualizing the better! Plus, many grammar guides are academic, looking at strict definitions.
Authors deserve an author focused guide to grammar, don’t they?
Being Grammar Conscious
I’m a big advocate for tools like Grammarly or ProWritingAid. These embedded tools check grammar, spelling, and even sentence structure (they gate the best features behind a paywall). Using AI-based software to correct the obvious mistakes is just efficient. All writers should make use of these tools.
But there is some danger in being reliant on software for grammar. Not to mention those situations where you’ve crafted a complex or uncommon sentence and the grammar-robots get confused. You need to know the basics and understand the principles behind grammar rules.
The goal is to have a clean, error-free manuscript to publish. That takes a combination of machine-review, your own knowledge, and the help of a skilled editor.
7 Grammar Tips For Authors
Alright, here is our updated list of the 7 grammar tips I think are most important for authors. This is, of course, not an exhaustive list. But these tips will help you tighten up your first (and second) draft.
Particularly if you’re self-editing the first few drafts, being conscious about grammar will save your final copy editor time and work. Which may well save you money!
Paul is the Content Marketing Manager at Lulu. When he's not entrenched in the publishing and print-on-demand world, he likes to hike the scenic North Carolina landscape, read, sample the fanciest micro-brewed beer, and collect fountain pens. Paul is a dog person but considers himself cat tolerant.