I am no grammar guru by any means. I put commas in where I pause when I read the sentence. Sure, I can pull out the rules, but I only do so when I want to argue with a copyeditor. I used to be a great speller but memory has begun to confuse some of the words, and spellcheck is a PITA that never recognizes the words I want.
But in working through my backlist books, I've discovered I've learned a humongous amount about craft since my early days of writing. I can remember in my first early tomes, pre RWA mind you, my struggles with simple things like when I should use a character's name or a pronoun. I had to keep a list of words like "all right" on my desk so I'd remember the correct usage. And while I knew about POV, I wrote what I read, and headhopping was prevalent at the time.
So if it interests anyone, I thought I'd stop by here occasionally and mention some of the things I know now that I wished I'd known then--if you promise not to cringe too much or laugh hysterically.
Here's the line that sent me over here: He watched her face but couldn't decipher her expression now. Perfectly simple line and not grammatically incorrect in anyway. But when the entire book is filled with these circular perambulations, a reader can get lost. Try this: He couldn't decipher her expression. Now, isn't that simpler? The fact that he's watching her and he's doing it now is pretty obvious without adding the extra verbiage. I've already edited a few thousand words out of the ms just by doing this! Gads, shorter word counts were obviously GOOD for us.