I’m an accountant by profession. The last grammar lessons I memorized were back in high school, and I think they’ve changed the rules in the decades since. So in the twenty plus years that I’ve been published, I spend a lot of time learning new things. One of the fun things I’ve learned is that most of the “rules” I’m told about really aren’t rules. They’re just things people make up to make me crazy.
Okay, maybe they should be called “style” rules. Except they still aren’t rules. They’re annoyances sometimes, but some writers can get away with a lot before they become annoying. Being the nonconfrontational type that I am, I prefer to avoid annoyances when possible, but if I can’t finish the freaking book because I’m fretting over every “as",” then I’m annoyed.
I’m finishing up the final edit of SMALL TOWN GIRL at the moment. (Don’t get me started on titles right now, that’s a whole different rant.) And someone on one of my writing lists asked about using the sentence construction of “He did this as she did that.” They’d been told this was bad structure. Just what I needed, one more insanity to hunt down.
Since I was already agonizing over too many sentences like this, I pulled out the rule books. The only thing I can find is that “as,” “when,” “while,” and similar words are subordinate conjunctions. Yeah, I know, my eyes glazed over, too.
So anyone who can find a real rule about this, feel free to let me know. Meanwhile, I’m assuming if the thing has a name, it’s just fine, and it’s how often I use it that matters. Because my characters tend to do three things at a time, and if I can’t use these words, we’re all in a heaping lot of trouble. I’ll be back to “See Dick run and see Jane laugh” real soon.
Monday Morning Musings
14 hours ago