Seems appropriate when I remember those sleepy junior high lectures on how to diagram a sentence.
Commas have long been my nemesis.
Apparently I'm not alone. I asked some of my Alleymates if they have a grammar foibles.
"Commas. Yep. Bleh." Three of us mentioned this as a struggling point.
"For me its italics."
"It's or its. Grammar check STILL corrects me on this one."
"Loose versus lose. I mess this one up all the time!"
"I always mess up lie and lay, commas, and whether to put periods or commas inside or outside of quotation marks. Man, editors are going to hate me! :)"
Whatever your grammar struggle, you are not alone.
Grammar is so crucial though. Simple errors make us look unprofessional. Leading to rejections. Frustration.
How can we brush up on our grammar? I would like to present some websites and resources that have helped me along the way in hopes they might help someone else.
Richard Lederer's Verbivore site. I suggest clicking on the language links tab for loads of great websites to check out on just about every topic imaginable.
I bought The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation at the recommendation of someone on the ACFW loop. Its a very helpful reference, but I wish I had known you can click here and look at it online for free instead. There are tons of quizzes on this site which will help you better understand what you most need to know.
Here's a fun game for us commaphobes: test your comma IQ. Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss is a helpful book for those who struggle with punctuation problems. Truss also has a picture book version for kids that is a fun read.
Guide to Grammar & Writing is filled with specific helps for a variety of issues. From run-ons to subject agreement, this directory is concise.
Strunk & White Come on, you didn't think I would write a grammar linky guide without including an online version of this all-time classic. Short and sweet, you probably still have a copy of this at home from your freshman year of college.
Consider taking a community college course. Many times you can audit these courses for a very low price, even free. It may be the answer to solving some of your grammar woes.
Find a grammar pal. It helps to surround yourself with those who are better than you at any skill and writing is no different.
How about you? Do you have a "grammar nemesis"? Have you found any resources that have helped you?
Julia enjoys writing women's fiction whenever she can find a chair free of smushed peanut butter sandwiches and lego blocks. She is a wife and homeschooling mama of two littles. She also currently reviews for The Title Trakk.