Recently (July 24th), over on magicalwords.net (a website I have recently discovered and been loving, by the way), Edmund Schubert posted an article about the value of stylistic rules and advice. More importantly, the value of using those guidelines weighed against the value of breaking them!
This is excellent advice to any writer, whether a beginning novelist, or an 8th-grade, class-ditching, English-is-for-nerds essayist! Rules can be broken, but only if you know the rule to begin with, and then know when to break it!
Also (bonus!), imbedded within the article are some excellent clarifying ideas regarding grammar and punctuation. Among that part of the discussion, a few examples were dropped that invited widespread, rousing rioting in the comments section! Yes, I was part of it, but it was Edmund wielding the "very large dictionary!"
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