One of the issues I have with the Wattys, is the focus on grammar.
Don’t get me wrong. Winners absolutely need to have a certain quality in grammar. But they should take into consideration that not all of us (the majority of the world) have English as a first language, and therefore haven’t got the same grip on English grammar as natives do. But we still like to write in English because it gives us a chance of a wider audience.
I grew up with a different set of grammar rules than the English language. And despite the fact that I’ve been serious about writing in English for almost ten years (and really tried heard to learn), I still don’t have a solid understanding of the English rules.
Run-on sentence… Comma splice… I’m completely lost when it comes to things like that.
I did at one point have a good idea about FANBOYS, but honestly, I’ve forgotten the rules again…
A machine can’t take that human accept into an account. Not to mention that I have no idea how a machine is supposed to judge whether a story is good or not in the first place.
I work really hard on my story and go over my chapters an insane amount of times before I post them. But that will never get recognize if something as inane as using a wrong set of grammar rules is going to be my downfall.
When I grew up, I learned to put O’s under nouns, and X’s under verbs. If you had two sets (OX) in one sentence, you had to place a comma in between them. Done. Easy peasy. In English it’s a whole lot more complicated…! (Cue Avril Lavigne)