The wonderful world of grammar can have its moments for the creative writer. Most readers, who may very well know the syntactic definitions of grammar, and the rules, may not always understand the creative side of writing. A famous writer once said, “You must first know the rules of grammar before you can break them.” Forgive me, I forget who to attribute this quote to, however, I think it was Stephen King.
Academic writers will read a book, a blog post, or whatever, and see a sentence fragment and have a heart attack. They will throw the book down in protest, and quite possibly burn it (laughing). I remember early on in my writing career one man–who did hold an MA in English–called me “an affront to the liberal arts.” Man…that hurt. The truth is, actually, that it made me a better writer. Some grammar trolls are good trolls.
When writers use one word sentences, or fragments–these are rhetorical devices to create tension, emotion, or to advance something in the prose toward a brilliant end (if they are good writers). To the “Prescriptive Grammarians” out there–cut us some slack. To the novice writer, learn the rules of grammar, but drop the academic styles and tones when you begin a creative work. God bless. WP