What makes a better writer - Perfect grammer & punctuation or creativity & journalistic integrity?
There are those who dwell on typos and perfectly placed puncuation, and there are those who write from the heart. Many of the best authors ever never completed college, and many of the most educated writers were horrible storytellers. From the perspective of a reader, would you be more offended seeing numerous grammatical and spelling errors or being forced to read unoriginal and boring material? What then, makes a better writer?
Personally, I love creativity and integrity, considering them the foundation of writing, but, if your writing is riddled with poor grammar, lack of or confusing punctuation, I'm not going to enjoy it -- or finish reading it.
This is like asking what makes a good house, the architect's plan or the quality of construction.
A writer has to be able to wield the tools of the trade or he is not a writer. Simple.
I agree with Immartin. All aspects of writing are equally important.
An excellent storyteller without a command of grammar could always find a starving English major and collaborate with him or her on the written piece.
When you write from the heart, you want to reach people's hearts. But if your writing is filled with bad spelling, punctuation, and grammar it forces readers to have to start using their heads to figure out what you're trying to say. Too much head work and you won't reach their heart.
But I agree that you don't have to go to college to be a great storyteller. Like Christian Q says, write out your story and find a starving student to clean it up.
I would say the later. The content is more important than the context. You can bypass mistakes, but if it's boring you won't finished it.
I think you need both.
It is the technical side of writing that I struggle with most as I was denied further education. It chews at my heels as I write.
If I am honest I know that if I make a spelling error some people will be 'stopped in the flow of their reading' and I have lost what I am attempting to create.
The uncertainty of it - i.e.not knowing the rules off by heart, has always robbed me of the confidence a writer needs. I tell myself if I make errors how can I expect to be taken seriously. Even this answer I have to spell check.
Better writer should be highly creative and imaginative. If you are very good in grammar and punctuation but not creative or innovative in developing your ideas then no one will read your works. Be creative first and on the way of writing keep improving your punctuation, syntax,lexical... skills.
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