Another worthwhile class I attended at the SCWW was taught by agent Roseanne Wells, titled "Play by the (Grammar) Rules - and When Not to."
Roseanne was wonderful. I really enjoyed her no-nonsense approach to grammar rules. Of course, as writers, we *should* know the rules. eh... right... ??
If you're not confident with your base knowledge (wow, that sounded kinda smart), Roseanne suggests these books:
* ELEMENTS OF STYLE by Strunk and White
* The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative by Vivian Gornick
Roseanne commented that there is no shame in not knowing, but it is your responsibility to find out! :)
Here are the grammar rules that always confuse ME, that she spoke about and I took notes on...
1. Whom is an objective pronoun - the receiver of an action
2. Who is a subjective pronoun - the subject of the sentence
3. Use a dash if a person interrupts their own dialogue
4. Use less elipses (did I spell that right?) you know... those three little dots...
5. A semicolon connects two complete sentences that are so very related, they should remain connected and not separated by a period
6. Don't start sentences with BUT
7. At least four words at the beginning of a sentence in a dependant clause before you use a comma
8. Break the rules intentionally, not accidentally
What is your least favorite grammar rule? Pet peeves? Share...