Grammar. I have never professed that I’m a grammar expert. I’ve learned a lot since I started my journey with BiaAtlas. I’m still learning, and I’m sharing what I’ve learned. Some of it is a refresher, a revisit to the things I already know or once knew but forgot. With my draft of about 80000, I had 212 grammar issues. Most of which were typos.Contextual Spelling: 349
Punctuation: 999+ (Um that’s embarrassing)
Sentence Structure: 19
Vocabulary Enhancement: 267
Within Grammar here are the most common issues I had in my story:
1. Missing Article
2. Redundant preposition
3. Confused preposition
4. Object instead of a subject pronoun
5. Adjective instead of an adverb
6. Wrong article with set expression
7. Incorrect use of progressive tense
8. Incorrect noun form
There were more issues than the ones I’m listing. However, these were the most common and the ones I’ll post about.
First up is Missing Article. Articles are words such as a, an, or the. They are determiners; you can also use names, my, his, and our. Quantifiers such as ‘each’ and ‘every’ can also be used.
Incorrect I left glass on desk.
Correct I left a glass on the desk.
Correct I left the glass on a desk.
Correct I left Bob’s glass on his desk.
Correct I left my glass on her desk.
Okay so if I read a sentence aloud that is missing the article, it’s easy to find because it is missing… the article. Here are some examples from my book that I made.
Pain was the first thing that hit.
The Grammarly correction for this one is to add the article ‘the.’ The suggestion is totally fine by me, so I made that change.
The pain was the first thing that hit.
In my head, the next sentence sounds fine, but it is missing the article ‘a’ to be correct. When added it sounds much better.
It couldn’t be coincidence.
It couldn’t be a coincidence.
This one is dialogue. I give myself some wiggle room with conversation.
“Does it come with conversation?”
It is exactly what I want the character to say, and It doesn’t make sense to correct it by adding the article. “Does it come with a conversation?” or “Does it come with the conversation?” The only time I will ignore a grammar issue is if it’s in dialogue and that is how the character would talk. This practice is used carefully, for the most part, people in books should have good grammar, a reader will pick up on mistakes if they are too obvious. Sometimes I have a character that has a quirk, uses jargon or local dialect. Grammar checkers hate these character, and that’s okay. However, if all characters have bad grammar, the reader will not enjoy the story.
Most of the time a missing article is just me typing too fast.
Without hesitation, I asked for beer.
Without hesitation, I asked for a beer. Or Without hesitation, I asked for the beer.
In this situation, I would use the article ‘a’ in this sentence.
This last sentence was edited out completely in the final draft and worked into a better sentence. However, if I were to keep it this is the fix:
He kept up pace with me.
He kept up the pace with me.
Typos aside sometimes in my head the sentence sounds fine without the article. Sometimes it even sounds okay when I read it aloud. This is why I know I have to have help in some form of revision, whether its a program or another person.
My advice about missing articles:
Even if they sound okay to be missing grammar should always be perfect in the narrative. It’s okay in the dialogue, but use that with caution. An educated person would speak correctly in the eyes of the reader.
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