When to ignore grammar

How did I, at the age of thirteen, start cranking out a novel? I simply had a few stories in my head from writer’s camp last summer, and when I wanted to write, I just… wrote.

In school, everyone tells you how to write the sacred OREO paragraph. You have your top cookie of an opening statement, all the good stuff in the middle, then a closer.

Now who, besides an English teacher, actually gives a crap?

If you’re writing, you don’t think, “Oh, look, I need an opening sentence.” You just write what comes out.

So what comes out is sentences that begin with “And.”

One sentence paragraphs.

One word sentences.

One word paragraphs.

I churn out all these grammatical errors that make English teachers flinch. They’re all there on purpose. I put them there because I wanted them there.

And people tell me it’s still a good story. A year and a half, and fourteen chapters later, I have no regrets about any of my sentence fragments. Your grammar decides your writing voice. If your character is uneducated, why bother with it? I know all the grammar I need, but I don’t use it when I’m writing.

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