I’ve just booked my car in for its annual MOT. It’s a little frustrating having to sort these things out, but, then again, it is also re-assuring to know that my vehicle is roadworthy. It made me wonder whether writers should undergo an annual test, to check their roadworthiness for the written word! (Failing with poor emissions takes on a whole new meaning!)
- A basic understanding of grammar? Whilst it can be acceptable to break the rules (as long as you understand what the rules are and what you are achieving by breaking them), it’s important that you know why the words are in the order they are.
- What about accepting that it’s okay to look things up in a dictionary? My computer’s operating system has a built-in dictionary (The Oxford Dictionary of English), which means its information is a few clicks away. I’ve never used a dictionary as much as I do now. I question my word choices, and any hint of doubt has me heading for the dictionary. After all, word selection is vital for expressing our thoughts clearly.
- And what about understanding the building blocks of engaging writing? It doesn’t matter whether you write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or plays, our pieces need structure (scenes), and devices to draw in the reader (dialogue, observations, and plot).