Do You Need To Be Good At English To Be A Writer?

Great writers weave amazing stories that keep readers hooked from one page to the next. It’s difficult to tell captivating stories if your knowledge of English leaves much to be desired. Knowledge of English grammar, punctuation and spelling are all fundamental in any writer’s arsenal because without them, it will be close to impossible to form a comprehensible, much more riveting, story. In a nutshell, the answer to this question is yes, you need to be good at English if you want to become a writer.

One component of being good at English means knowing the basics of grammar. That is, you should know that a singular subject goes with a singular verb and a plural subject goes with a plural verb. There are other rules governing the agreement of subject and verb but if you are able to identify the subject and the verb in the sentence then applying these rules become easier. This is just one aspect, of course. Understanding the role of punctuation and knowing when to use periods, commas, colons, semi-colons, question marks and exclamation marks, among others, will make the sequence of events understandable and the conversations more animated. Of course, spelling words correctly is another must.

Certainly, there is such a thing as poetic license which gives writers the right to change or depart from the accepted conventional standard to achieve the desired effect, such as to meet the metrical requirements of a piece of poetry. However, poetic license can never be used as an excuse for writing that is riddled with errors. Besides, writers are only able to play with words and syntax effectively if they are already comfortable with the proper use of the English language.

Another reason why you should be good at English to become a writer is because this is an occupation where competition is intense. If you ever want to have a shot at getting your work published, you will have to make sure that you have used the English language correctly in the manuscript you submit. Agents and publishers receive lots of manuscripts from aspiring writers who also happen to have their own great stories to tell. As you can imagine, they won’t take too kindly on a manuscript that’s ridden with errors in grammar and spelling. Even if your story is unique enough to merit a second look, the possibility that a publisher would really consider assigning an editor to overhaul your work is next to impossible—especially if there’s an equally extraordinary story that’s written without any grammatical errors.

As a writer, your work is going to speak for itself—and words are going to be your medium. If you make any mistakes in this medium, you are going to lose your credibility. In any profession, losing credibility can be a death knell.

If you’re not yet good at English and still want to be a writer, it’s still not too late. Keep in mind that English grammatical rules, proper use of punctuation and spelling correctly can be learned and perfected with constant practice. You can take English classes at a local college or learn on your own with all the resources available online or from your local library.

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