How do I let James Joyce--and others--develop my prose without...?


Literature makes a lion out of me. In its acquaintance, I'm prone to brash punctuation, archaic language, and woeful redundancy. In my young-adult fervor I attempt to emulate the masters.


As I read elegant prose I tend to notice the following grammatical inconsistencies in my work:

  1. Redundancy - Victorians used extra language (often french synonyms) to bolster social status.
  2. Overly complex compound clauses.
  3. Complex, and misused punctuation (hyphens, colon, semicolon etc.).** this might be the worst
  4. Archaic language.

How do I let Joyce develop my prose without getting too far ahead of myself? What warnings or tips do you have that could help me avoid try-hard grammatical failure?

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