Shop Talk: Guiding Your Grammar with Grammar Guides

shoptalk copyI use Grammarly for proofreading because the word warriors battling inside my head want to win the fight against epic sentence fails.

Seriously, though. Do you occasionally struggle with grammar and sentence structure when writing your pitches and articles? Having a tool that instantly points out potential troubles spots and thoroughly explains why your writing is sucktastic is pretty handy. It also never hurts to have an extra set of eyes, even if they’re robot ones, to glance over your pieces before you fire away. Not such a fan of robots? Well, there are books for that too. Read on!

Grammar isn’t as scary as it seems, once you get a firm grasp of all its tricky little gremlins. Simple boo-boos can be the worst, and it’s crazy how a single letter can totally change the meaning of your writing. While a simple typo can sometimes be catastrophic, getting similar words mixed-up can be just as gruesome. For example (of both):

-Do you rock out to heavy metal or heavy mental?

-Did the robot’s detachable rocket first make a popping sound or a pooping sound?

-Did the wizard’s Delayed Blast Fireball spell do damage in an area of effect or area of affect?

These are among the many things that a normal spell check run will not catch. Getting a handle on problematic words, however, is only half of the battle. If you’re looking to seriously brush up on your grammar skills, I highly recommend checking out these books too.

Books for Honing your Grammar Awesomeness

1) The Elements of Style – Strunk and White know their stuff, and they deliver a serious knowledge beat down in the grammar department. This pint-sized pocket tome is a quick read that’ll whip your noggin into shape in no time.

2) The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need – True, it’s a solid pick for one-stop grammar shopping. I found this well-written book to be easily digestible, and it imparts excellent grammar knowledge and writing advice.

3) 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing – I love this pocket-sized writing advice book. It’s mostly focused on improving your writing in-general with some great tips, but the section of grammar is also particularly useful.

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Dig this article? Check out my NEW BOOK!

bowkerscoverMy book Up Up Down Down Left WRITE: The Freelance Guide to Video Game Journalism is out NOW in print and on Kindle! The book is packed with over 256 pages of insider advice, expert insights, and pro tips to help you break into freelance game journalism, successfully pitch editors, deal with the challenges of the freelance life, and much more! Also, If you want to stay up-to-date on the latest developments, promotions, and other upcoming book releases, follow @gamejournoguide and consider signing my mailing list for important updates!

You can also follow @nmeunier on Twitter for regular blasts of freelance advice. Spread the good word via Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites below if you feel so inclined. Thanks!

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