Okay, this is for everyone who feels a bit lame on the grammar end. As in, words like "gerund" and "conjugate" and "nominative case" might as well be in an ancient Egyptian dialect.
Know what? A LOT OF US MISSED THE GRAMMAR BOAT IN SCHOOL. Bad teachers, or bad study habits, or the age-old problem of having to cram things for a test instead of actually learning them has left a lot of adults fairly handicapped in the grammar area (not to mention other areas).
I want you to know that it's totally okay if that happened to you. So long as you do something about it now that you're a writer. Yanno?
I posted a new THE BASICS in Write On! yesterday. This one's on possessive pronouns and gerunds. And a tweet from one of my sweet followers on Twitter was filled with a measure of embarrassment at her own level of grammar knowledge. I don't want her to feel that way, and I don't want any of you to feel that way.
Here's the truth: I did not struggle with grammar in school. But neither did I master it. All those terms and rules and such? I HAVE LEARNED MOST OF THEM AS AN ADULT.
And so can you. And really? If you can talk intelligently about why a sentence is correct, that's great. But as a writer, what's MORE important is that you are WRITING SENTENCES CORRECTLY. Even if you're not able to pen a thesis on the reasons.
There are lots of resources out there. My teen posts are one small offering. You don't have to take a college course (which might easily produce the same lame results you experienced in school) or spend time memorizing lists. (Though, really, you should know your prepositions. And all cases of pronouns. And... *grin*)
Just troubleshoot. Learn to fix each error as it comes up. Find out what's wrong with what you've been doing, and make sure you understand how to do it correctly. Then, apply it. Forever.
And don't bash yourself. Learning is lifelong.
That's that. It's really -- REALLY -- all right for you to learn grammar that you feel you "should already know." If you don't know something at 1:00, you can make sure you know it by 2:00. Any day, every day.
I mean, you guys write STORIES. And that's HARD! (No, really. Sometimes it actually sucks.) So picking up a new grammar rule here and there is cake.
No shame. Just learn what you need to know.
And keep writing.