Grammar is basic to all writing in English and is essential to ensuring the readers understand the writers. Clarity of meaning is a key point of any writing. However, the way you go about that clarity, and way you write, does vary with the style of writing. Also, some of the grammar rules appear to morph a little with some styles, but they don't in reality, what changes is they way people have perceived the rules to be or become wedded to how they appear in certain writing styles.
We all know and accept the differences between academic assignments and essays as against text books and research reports, and again how financial reports and car accident reports vary. A summary and briefing paper are different again, so is fiction writing, yet all still abide by the grammar rules, they just look a little different.
One thing I've noticed is how you use the same grammar rules appear to be a little different between past tense fiction and present tense fiction. I've also noticed a similar difference in appearance between fiction using formal English and vernacular English. However, when you sit down and analyse them properly, the grammar rules are still there and applied correctly, they just look to be different.
In a recent set of emails I had a long exchange of views with a reader about how wrong it is to write fiction in the present tense, and they claim past tense is the only valid way to write fiction. At the same time I had an exchange with another reader about how fiction stories must be written in formal English and not the vernacular.
While writing a recent reply to a discussion in another thread in this forum I had both those discussions passing through my mind. After finishing the response I began to wonder how much of the difference in opinion on the content of that thread, and a few others like it, is dependent on the differences in the writing styles used by the people in the discussions. The style used doesn't eliminate or override the grammar rules, but the style does stamp a slightly different appearance on the finished product. I can see how some of the usages common in vernacular would seem odd to someone who only ever uses formal English, despite the application of the grammar rules being correct.
An obvious difference in using the vernacular is the use of contractions in both dialogue and narrative. Another difference between the two is the amount of times the word 'that' is used in formal English but can often be safely dropped when using vernacular English. These style difference do change the appearances of the work but stay within the grammar rules - yet some people will dispute that because it's not what they're used to seeing.
Anyone got further insights into this matter?