Re: Grammar Vs. Plot

#1
Which is of greater importance to you when reading novels on Royal Road?

Would you continue reading a story which had an amazing plot line with interesting story elements and deep characters if the grammar was poor but you could just about understand it? Would you have reached that point of the story to begin with?

Tell me your opinions~

Re: Grammar Vs. Plot

#3
I think the two usually go hand in hand. In order to understand the fundamentals of storytelling enough to have a good plot, a person has to read a lot. If you read a lot, you're naturally going to pick up grammar/sentence structure/storytelling elements. Grammar being poor is a red flag for the rest of the story probably also not being of a very high quality.

That said, if I had a choice between a boring but very well written story, and a story that is mediocre prose-wise but has an exciting plot/well developed characters, I'm obviously going to pick the latter. This is assuming a minimum level of technical quality, of course. If we're talking about something that's littered with spelling mistakes, improper punctuation, sentences that don't make sense, etc, I'm not going to bother going through it. There's a lower limit to what I can tolerate.

Re: Grammar Vs. Plot

#4
javert Wrote: If we're talking about something that's littered with spelling mistakes, improper punctuation, sentences that don't make sense, etc, I'm not going to bother going through it. There's a lower limit to what I can tolerate.


I whole-heartedly agree with this.

I have, on the rare occasion, had to drop a perfectly good book because I felt myself getting dumber just by reading it (more so with translations than original works, but you get the picture).

Re: Grammar Vs. Plot

#5
In 2015, some of the top stories available in "Best-rated" were riddled with grammatical errors and even spelling problems. But they still grab the attention of many readers.

I remember that many authors who claim that they are good in grammar kept complaining about reader's "low standards," and making sure that stories that do not supposedly have no business being in the top 100 or so, remain there. There were a few subtle threads like that in the forum.

The thing is most of the authors continue to improve themselves, and after several series of "editing" and rewrites, many of those stories could not be compared to their origins, and some of them I watch as they self-published in Amazon through the years.

The point is, it is so much easier to improve in grammar than being creative. One just needs some form of effort, while the other needs, well, something else.

Re: Grammar Vs. Plot

#6
I mean, typos and hasty editing are part of the experience with free self-published web fiction, but grammar is the absolute fundamental thing you gotta get right when you write. Right? It doesn't matter how gripping the plot is or how interesting the characters are, if you write it like a fifth grader I'm not going to read it. That goes for poor translations, too. Translators who don't put effort into their work make me sad. 

So the plot is more "important" to me, only in that every single story you read should be getting a 5-star grammar rating or you shouldn't even bother reading it.

Small caveat: I'm slightly more willing to overlook consistent errors when it comes to non-native English speakers working on English-language stories. I really appreciate how hard you work! English speakers should learn other languages too!

Re: Grammar Vs. Plot

#8
it's not a versus, but a sum.

A good plot can help several grammatical problems along, but if the grammr is so bad that you can barely read it you have no choice but to drop it.
On the other side if there is no plot (or only a bad one), then there is no incentive to even continue with bad grammar even if most of the story has acceptable grammar.

And even a perfect grammar can't get me to continue reading a booring plot.

So both parts need to be taken into account before deciding to continue reading or not, and sometimes the plot can compensate for bad grammar.

Re: Grammar Vs. Plot

#9
To be honest when I’m posting a review I don’t actually care that much for Grammar apart from whether it is “good enough”. I generally look to how much a story impressed me with its word choice and sentence structure in terms of how much it improves what is being said rather than straight up correctness. So the last star of Grammar in my case isn’t about correct grammar, but that one paragraph that was momentously good at describing a scene and pulling me into the story. Base grammar in my mind is just the foundation, but if someone is so good at using words that they can start actually playing around with them rather than just using them is what will impress me. Like some poems actually impress me and don’t just seem weird but creative.
So when it comes to reading I usually disregard general grammar but I will give credit where it is due for some effort in that language sauce.

Re: Grammar Vs. Plot

#12
Grammar is the most important to me.

There's a novel/book that was not being translated anymore and some guy decided to do the next volume instead of the original translator, i had waited for month for someone  to pick it up, it was so badly translated that i stopped reading it, i prefer to wait for years or even to not read the following books that reading something badly edited/translated.

Smooth reading is the best.

Re: Grammar Vs. Plot

#13
My IQ dropped a few points writing this, but I hope the my point gets across. Also I deleted post because potato brain, send adult I can't be trusted with computer now.

To many people will drop you're novel if their are alot of mistakes in it's grammer, syntax and spleling. plenty of fish's in the see and, but why reading this carp if the author dont even care a simple spellcheck?


Re: Grammar Vs. Plot

#14
For me, the plot is most important. I'd like the author to have a proper command of the basics, but I'm not going to drill into them if they have less than ideal grammar skills. I mean come on guys, the average reader isn't even aware of most of the so-called grammatical mistakes people make, and when you point it out to them, they don't care anymore afterward than they did beforehand. 

Re: Grammar Vs. Plot

#15
Scarlust Wrote: Which is of greater importance to you when reading novels on Royal Road?

Would you continue reading a story which had an amazing plot line with interesting story elements and deep characters if the grammar was poor but you could just about understand it? Would you have reached that point of the story to begin with?

Tell me your opinions~


I don't know about the grammar thing, because, most people that tried to be perfectionist, I also found errors about their writings or their ways of speaking. Well, people do enjoy being deceived. So, if it's a good thing that there are quite few talented that can write to our liking. 

In this debate, I prefer the amazing plot line with interesting story elements and deep characters. But, every 20 titles that I gathered, I can only pick 1 or 2 to stick in reading.

My last post for today, on October again. See yeah guys. 

Re: Grammar Vs. Plot

#16
My answer, both are equally important. The plot is what makes it a story, grammar makes the writing understandable. What is the point of a great plot if you can't even understand what is written, and what is the point of great and clear writing if there is nothing interesting about what is written?

Great! You have an awesome plot . . . too bad your writing is unreadable!

So great, you have impeccable writing . . . to bad the story bore me to death!

These two (as well as other elements) go hand in hand. You can't prioritize one over the other.