Posted On February 5, 2018 by Print This Post

The Ultimate Grammar Cheat Sheet by Sierra Delarosa

Romantic tension has been building for 200 pages. Witty banter and flirtatious glances have been exchanged. Obstacles—overbearing families, differences in upbringing, unlucky timing—have been overcome. Our hero and heroine are alone at last. And…a dangling modifier wrecks the mood.

Don’t let grammar mistakes distract from your storytelling and ruin the romantic mood you’ve painstakingly crafted. A recent survey found that sloppy writing is a serious turn-off in real life; 72% of online daters judge potential dates harshly for poor spelling, and 48% won’t tolerate bad grammar.

The principle is the same when it comes to writing romance. Your writing is the vehicle conveying your story, carrying readers from scene to scene without getting in the way.

Word choice is also essential when it comes to setting the mood. Go beyond simple emotions like “happy” and “sad” when what you really mean is “elated,” “euphoric,” “somber,” or “forlorn.”

The possibilities are constantly expanding: a new English word is born approximately every two hours—that makes 4300 new words per year! With so many words at your disposal, you can carefully select them to convey precise shades of meaning, establish a particular atmosphere, and connect better with readers.

Read on for a visual guide to grammar, word choice, and proofreading; this infographic by The Expert Editor provides a succinct “cheat sheet” that will keep your writing clear and polished and your readers in love with your story.



Join us on Wednesday for author Alyson McLayne!



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7 Responses to “The Ultimate Grammar Cheat Sheet by Sierra Delarosa”

  1. Great tips! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Posted by Mercy | February 5, 2018, 8:27 am
  2. That was practical and helpful, thank you.

    Posted by Dalyn | February 5, 2018, 10:58 am
  3. this is via email…

    Thank you, this is so helpful to me and I’ll make a copy for another budding writer – my granddaughter!

    Posted by Carrie Peters | February 5, 2018, 3:32 pm
  4. Helpful hint sheet – definitely printing this one out!

    Thanks Sierra!


    Posted by Carrie Peters | February 5, 2018, 3:33 pm
  5. This is wonderful! My printer isn’t working so I’ll have to get my daughter to print it for me. Thanks so much!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | February 6, 2018, 1:01 am
  6. Good grammar tips, but be wary about those alternate emotion words. Any time you’re naming an emotion, you’re probably telling rather than showing. Switching from “happy” to “elated” doesn’t change that.

    Showing uses specific sensory details — what your main character can see, hear, smell, taste or touch — to bring the scene to life. When showing emotion, this might be something like stomach churning or head pounding. You can also show by giving us a character’s actions (for example, crying, laughing, trembling, gasping, clenching her fists, etc.).

    Any time you define an emotion (someone is angry, worried etc.), you’re probably telling.

    I’m not saying you should never use those words, but if you can show rather than tell, your writing will likely be stronger.

    Posted by Kris Bock | February 6, 2018, 9:46 am
  7. I see people misspell alot a lot! An English professor said she tells her students, “You don’t write alittle. It’s a little. Similarly, it is a lot, not alot.”

    Posted by Ginger Monette | February 6, 2018, 3:39 pm

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