Thursday, September 9, 2010

Grammar

One of my first sentences in yesterday's post is bothering me. If allure is the singular object and Ron Perlman and screenplay are modifiers, then was is the appropriate verb. But if allure and screenplay are both objects, then were is the appropriate verb form. I originally wrote were then changed it to was and now I'm inclined to change it back to were. Is this a case where either form is correct, and it's up to me to tell the reader which I meant, or is there only one correct way and I'm missing it? Will it sound wrong to someone no matter which verb I use (thus indicating I should rewrite it and move on)? Do other languages have this issue? In Latin, the verb would indicate whether the object is singular or plural, but in English, I'm more likely to get chastised for improper grammar than kudos for knowing the obscure rule.

Whoa. That graf was a bit more writerly than normal. Sorry, readers. One of the drawbacks of being caught in Editor Land.

Fact is, most of the grammar skills I employ are from rules sunk so deep into the dark parts of my brain from high school I have no idea why I know how I know it anymore. Grammar rules are the compost from which my skill springs, not the framework on which my stories are built. I will have to change that, I'm sure.

Hmm. Cats are restless this morning. Hard to see the monitor around Caleb's enormous bulk or type with Mica's head on my mouse arm. Better keep this short.

I tried a lot of new things with Elementals. Four POVs. Multiple concurrent time lines. Flashbacks masquerading as memories. A lot of ways to mess up grammatically and consistently (that's not the right word. I mean like when you check a movie for glaring errors. I can NOT think of the right word. They call this a category memory error in psych class. I can think close to the word but not the word itself. Grr!) Anyway, I will need help with this story to get it up to snuff for publication.

A vague memory tickles me of trying to complete Elementals this time last year and experiencing tremendous difficulty. Somehow September jammed up with non-writing stuff and conspired to throw my plans off track.

It's happening again. I have "other plans" than writing all this week. I will be ready to submit in October, but only because I will determine now to be ready.

Man, I wish I could think of that word!

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