Creative Writing, you mean there are rules?


I haven’t a writing Topic planned for this week, there’s family issues with my father having been admitted to hospital, however I will be exploring a theme inspired by watching one of those ‘Grammarly’ videos which precede EVERY YouTube video I seem to watch!! I’m wondering whether clever Google are aware I have a WordPress? Hmm plausible and are they tailoring my ad-stream towards writing sites? …………… Makes me wonder!

So the question I’m pondering this evening is if writer’s of Fiction use one of these gramma correction apps/websites? I don’t, never have and never will apart from spellcheck!

Now what I’m about to admit to you isn’t false modesty, I often ask myself ‘do I have a have creative writing ability?’ Because I’m aware I break many golden rules……… trouble is I wasn’t aware of them in the first place?

“To my great dismay, the English Language has no enforceable laws, much less someone to enforce the laws it doesn’t have.”

(‘An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style’ by Benjamin Dreyer.)

I very much doubt Benjamin Dreyer would object to me quoting him without permission, seeing as I’ve taken the time to read excerpts from his highly readable thought provoking book! However here’s a thing, Benjamin also went onto share what he suggests is a golden rule, yet in my untrained opinion this passage is a terrible read:

‘Certain prose rules are essentially inarguable—that a sentence’s subject and its verb should agree in number, for instance. Or that in a “not only x but y” construction, the x and the y must be parallel elements.’

Uhh? What?

Speaking as someone who, right here and now, couldn’t accurately explain what a verb is I’m coming around to the realisation I almost certainly break golden rules, and again according to Benjamin (my third and final reference) he suggests the four C’s, Convention. Consensus. Clarity. Comprehension help us use words to their optimum purpose, thus enabling us to communicate exactly what we are trying to say to our reader!

Incidentally what works for me is I download the conversation going on inside my brain at the time onto a laptop.

I think it’s at this point I forget completely Mr. Benjamin Dreyer and his English Language rules………….. I’ll only confuse myself.

Have you ever watched a chat show host interview a great stand up comedian and ask him or her,

“Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why your jokes make people laugh?”

A bloody stupid question I’ve heard asked many times, and it’ll come as no surprise the answer is always “NO”. And what a dumb question because stand up comedy, holding an audience in the palm of your hand, is an artform as comparable to any great wordsmith.

As an aside the nicest compliment anyone has paid to me is, ‘you made me laugh’………….. on WordPress that is not in bed!!

Analyse and distil the essence of what makes he or she funny and the comic will probably lose the gift of humour. Similarly should a writer be tooo over introspective trying to workout the reasons why people enjoy reading their prose? You know distil out the secret, formulate a potion so making them the next JK Rowling? Sell millions of books, become a millionaire, leave Brexit fiasco Britain and go live with D. Trump.

Now to the thorny question of my own creative writing ability, err my erotica sexy stories, let’s just say I enjoy writing them and let’s not ask tooo many questions shall we, 😀 incidentally I have 3 more tales in draft. 🙂

Finally a question for you please, if you are a writer of novels, or have novels electronically accessible on Kindle, do you apply specific grammatical rules throughout you story? How an earth does a writer manage to blend phrasing rules seamlessly into text without spoiling/confusing a plot? 

Until next time,

©A. Shepherdson 2019 (650 words, that’s 😀 short for me)

16 thoughts on “Creative Writing, you mean there are rules?

  1. In creative writing (not blog posts) I use Pro Writing Aid tool. It’s useful for picking up repetition and echoing of words, pace issues, text density, etc., But I don’t always have to agree with it. If I have a good reason to use passive voice, for example, I will use it. It’s a tool, not the boss.

    Liked by 2 people

    • A fascinating comment, especially when you refer to pace, echoing, density etc, I don’t use these tools then again my creative writing is limited to 😀 bad pornography!! But I’m pleased to hear they’re not the boss


  2. I hope your dad recovers swiftly.

    I have finally downloaded Grammarly just recently. Why? All the serious bloggers seem to recommend it. And I’m serious. Right? There are times when I re-read what I write before I post, and there are times when I don’t. I’m not trying to show everyone how many errors I can make, but sometimes there isn’t much time, or I’m tired, or both, or any combination of those. Grammarly is good for when I write the same word twice in a row. I do not pre-write in Word, or anywhere else, but directly on WP, so it only really draws my attention to typos (and if the typo is an actual word… it doesn’t). So for that, I am happy to have Grammarly. However, it’s annoying me, because it claims I overuse commas. I will put them wherever I want!

    My plan is to use it to “verify” my novel. We shall see what happens then.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you 🙂 , Dad has now been moved out of Hospital into a care home, hmm old age comes to us all!

      I must admit the more I look into Grammarly the more the app intrigues me, I do like the spell check on my computer though, sometimes it surprises me how many words I misspell through sheer haste.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My sentiments exactly! The corrective instructions I received (and still do) for my writing by my well meaning friends, it actually pushed me into a boiling pan of self doubt. It prompted me to write an article about it. No never used any grammar help tools. Spell check yes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Until researching grammar help apps I hadn’t realised they were such a big deal amongst writers! At what point do you lose your own personal style. No similar to yourself these are apps left well alone. ❤ spell check tho.

      TY 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like to write on paper, then transfer to the computer and I have taken a Word suggestion on grammar, or two. With that said, I wouldn’t use one of those programs. Enjoyable read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 Thank you so much Ryan. I must admit I have issues with these grammar correction aids, there must come a point after Grammarly has finished editing, that the result are NO longer your own work? Surely one’s own personality has been edited out. TY

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree! There is a fine line between “breaking the rules” and having a different style. I accept some Word corrections when it is a gross oversight on my part, but there are times I say F U Word, that´s the way I WANT to say it.


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