In 2009, I decided that I wanted to post some of my stories online. They were way too long and complex to make decent novel material, but they worked great as serialized fiction. I knew when I started that my grammar needed serious work, but what better way to learn than to practice, right?
I received a review on the very first such story today that made me laugh a little. The review said, "Way too many times "too" was used when "to" should have been but that is awesome compared to some of the mistakes i have endured."
I didn't even have to look back at the story to know the reviewer was spot-on with pointing that out to me.
When I first started writing seriously, my grammar was atrocious. I used semi-colons where no-one would ever think a semi-colon would go. I couldn't remember the rule for to/too, or for its/it's. I was also a huge fan of wordy sentences.
Reading that review today made me realize just how far I've come since then. I won't say I've perfected the rules because I haven't. On occassion, I still mix up to/too, or find myself wondering why in the world I thought it was a good idea to put 87 words in once sentence (It's not. Trust me). But at least I recognize those mistakes now, and can go back and make them all pretty-like.
It's a good feeling. :)
That said, I still spend a lot of time looking up grammar rules. Let's face it, there are a whole lot of those things that none of us really remember, and for some reason, I absolutely have to know the most obscure rule. One of the best resources I've found is Grammar Girl. It's straightforward, easily understood, and covers just about every rule I find myself needing to know. Best of all, I don't have to search through 8,000 different opinions (ahem, Yahoo Answers) to find out what I need to know. That in and of itself is a life-saver.
Are there any grammar rules you just can't remember, or grammar rules that you absolutely hate?