As a writer, you should be striving to become a student of language. This doesn’t mean becoming a polyglot, but learning to love the study of the language you use to write. It is vital to know the rules of a language in order to become a good writer, because it is only then that you can really know how to properly break the rules.
If you’re writing in english, you’re not going to follow all of the rules all of the time. Dialogue is often broken and fragmented as it is supposed to be an imitation of how people actually speak. You may start sentences with conjunctions, or end with prepositions. You may break all of those rules your teachers told you were hard and fast in the writing world. The danger is in breaking the rules because you don’t know the rules. Readers can often see the difference, whether they realize it or not. It changes how they view the story. Rules broken well are seamless. Rules broken poorly are jarring.
In this episode, Leigh and Ley discuss how to become a student of language, why it is important (even if you don’t like it), and ways you can begin studying.
First aired November 1, 2021.