Sunday, January 20, 2013

Telling Grammar by Kat Duncan

Today I read Telling Grammar by Kat Duncan.

After I finished writing my short story, They Went to Biloxi, I began to think about whether to engage the services of an editor to look over my story.  My daughter writes romance fiction and she has used Kat Duncan for editing.  She sings high praises for Kat's editing skills.

I searched the internet for Kat Duncan and found her website.  I noticed that she had written Telling Grammar and that it was available as a Kindle book.

I bought the book to read thinking it would be a good way to learn more about Ms. Duncan's writing skills.  I found them to be first rate.  I've been exposed to everything grammar-wise that she covers.  But, like some of my other life lessons this exposure didn't stick very well.  I'm guilty of many grammatical errors.

One of my problems is that I don't think it's that important for me to use a Past Present Participle properly.  I think it's more important to tell a good story.  I think if I do most readers will forgive me.  Mainly because they don't know the rules either.  But I have doubts.  So, I'm thinking about using an editor.

The book covers the rules of grammar from a storyteller's view which is unique.  It tells you when something is incorrect but acceptable in a novel.  I like that sort of not so up-tight thinking.

The magic in the book for me was when it began to cover what I'll describe as the ART of wording.

When I learned to fly, the rhapsodic, emotional feeling of soaring with the birds that many pilots rave on about totally escaped me.  To me, flying was a mechanical skill to be learned and practiced.  I never felt like a bird.  I never wanted to be a bird.

I've read a quotation by Truman Capote to the effect that he wrote for the pleasure of hearing the words as he wrote.  That emotional connection with words escapes me.

Kat Duncan's Telling Grammar has a wonderful section on sentence structure with tremendous practical examples of sentence wording to achieve emotional results.  For the first time, I think I'm beginning to understand why you might spend effort on perfectly saying something.  As opposed to simply letting it flow from your unconscious onto the paper.  For example, is it better to say "on saying something perfectly"?  :)

Powerful stuff to consider.

I recommend the book.  It's a great source for grammar rules, but it is much more.

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