Follow the rules… or not. Whatever.
As part of a critiquing website that I occasionally take part in, we are told to make recommendations. Dont’ slam the person in the critique and realize that grammar rules are meant to be broken. They are more guidelines .
That is all fine and good, until I critiqued a story for a guy who could not get his quotations right. It drove me insane. He sometimes had the punctuation on the inside, sometimes on the outside, sometimes he didn’t even close it.
Because of time, I edited one chapter, sent that to him, and then edited the other two later on in the week. In the between time, he made a comment that caused me to think he is still maybe late highschool or early college. He writes a lot–yes!–but I think I misjudged his age.
As such, at the end of my critique, I sent him a quick summary of quotation rules, and phrased it as, If you didn’t know these, well, here go. Soon afterwards, I wrote a post about quotations as an FYI.
This may seem like a side note, but my brother is going to school for graphic design. He is so good at what he does that he is making things like videos and ecards for the school. He gets frustrated though with video tutorials that say something along the lines of, “Here’s the rule of thirds. But you know what? This is art. Be creative.”
This is his opinion, and as such, I think it very much applies to writing.
Follow the rules of grammar, unless you can give me a good reason why you aren’t.
So I’m not saying that you can’t be creative with how you present information. Writing is creativity. But make sure you have a good reason why you don’t follow that rule before you decide to break it.