Taking Fraulein Maria’s sage advice, I picked up a copy of Strunk and White’s ‘The Elements of Style’. People, I need this. I am a third grade grammar drop out. When my teacher stopped trying to get me to use apostrophe properly, I did too. I have since come to feel comfortable with that particular punctuation friend, but the many rules for the comma, semi-colon, and words like participle, gerund, and non-restrictive clause, still have me shrinking in a corner with my hands over my ears. Like it or not, I have come to face the fact that writers need to know this stuff backwards and forwards, and who better to hold our hands on this pursuit of credibility than our dear friend E.B. White?
So full disclosure here: I do not pretend to have it all together as a writer, and maybe as such I have no business trying to write for children (or you!) but, as a firm believer in life learning, I am going to anyway, while giving myself the education I need along the way. I hope you can be patient with me, and not horribly offended if I make a slip (or 100) here and there.
Anyone else out there still trying to get a grip on the formalities of writing?
What has helped you?