Every writer needs a good grammar guide.

It doesn't matter how good you are at grammar, or how good you think you are, you will need at least one good reference source for helping you to edit your work.

Now, I don't want to hear any of your excuses about the story being the main thing, or how you like to create and dream and fly by the seat of your pants.

That's fine for blasting out your first draft, but it is not acceptable for your rewrites and edits.  At this crucial point in the development of your work, you must become the most pernickety grammar demon that has ever stalked the lines of a manuscript.  Slips in grammar, or possible areas of potential confusion in your work, will upset readers, deter buyers and attract negative reviews.

If writing is a craft then grammar is the toolbox.  But hark!  I think hear you asking a question…

Why don't I just look online?

This is a massive time bandit.  You can look at ten different sites and get ten different answers.  There are grammar forums, grammar websites, online reference works (some free, some paid) and all of them are crammed with people arguing about grammar as if the fate of the known universe depended on it.     You'll be side-tracked for hours because you're a writer and words are fascinating, but at the end of it, you still won't know the answer.

Do yourself a favour and get yourself a book.  Books don't argue and they don't talk back.

Below is a little selection.

Please note that I'm a UK author, but even so, I wouldn't recommend the books below if they weren't genuinely useful to any writer using the English language.  For instance, the Economist Style Guide includes an invaluable list of words to use that are acceptable to both US and UK audiences.  And Fowler's tells me that whilst the word ‘pernickety'  (a Scot's word apparently) is being marked as a spelling error as I type, that's because in the US, the form ‘persnickety' is used.  So now I can decide which to use or whether to replace it with a different word.

Grab a grammar guide today:

Hover over a book cover below to visit the Amazon store in your country.

Pocket Fowler's Modern English Usage (Oxford Quick Reference)

The Economist Style Guide.

Above links are affiliate links in the hope that I'll earn a few pennies to keep the site running.


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