When writing a synopsis recently, I was advised by a very helpful fellow writer in my workshop to improve my grammar. Given I wasn’t really taught any grammar at school, I have been trying to improve my grammar recently, and been fairly successful so far. However, my commas needed work, and this lady recommended an excellent blog where grammar, particularly clauses and comma placement have been discussed in more detail.

Grammar is ESSENTIAL. No writer can avoid perfecting this technique and hope to be published.

This excellent blog, by author Beth Revis, lists the grammar in basic, easy to understand rules.  This defeats the stupid incorrect rule which I heard most at school: to place a comma where you felt a natural pause should exist.

You can find Beth's excellent advice,
here.

For more information about the semicolon, you can find an excellent blog by exceptionally helpful fellow writer, Susan Dennard,
here.

For Susan's equally amazing post on the dash and hyphens, go
here.

Susan plans to include more grammar posts eventually. You can sign up for her free email grammar classes as they are released. For more information, go
here.

These posts don’t cover grammar in every detail, particularly parenthetical expressions and the like. For these, I have found that the highly recommended The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr, is excellent. It will take a while to look up the definitions you don’t understand -- for example parenthetical expressions -- as the language is formal. Also the language is American English, so again, certain unfamiliar words may need to be researched. Never mind,  that is what google is for!

I have also enjoyed reading Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, by Lynne Truss. A book on each of the punctuation marks, and their use and misuse. I haven't finished reading it yet, but when I do, I will create a review.

If you have any highly recommended books or online resources to help writers improve their grammar, please comment below. Does anything really annoy you about grammar? Personally I can't stand to see really bad grammar or spelling, but probably won't notice minor errors. Have you struggled and overcome any grammar issues yourselves? Feel free to share your tips.

Thank you for everyone who has helped me recently, both with my website and mansucript!