Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Tough love

Hey, gang....

I hope your Thanksgiving was nice and wonderful and all those great adverbs. Something got posted on social media today that--well, I'm sorry, but it really gripes my cookies.

Being a writer, I get exposed to a lot of writer's groups, social media pages, and hangouts for writers. Today someone complained about not being able to get their novel looked at by an agent or published by a publisher and they couldn't figure out why.

Judging by their post I could see why. Misspellings, bad grammar, and just poor writing filled their media rant. Did I mention the use of the word YOU'RE instead of YOUR? If their manuscript looks like that, it's already gone in the trash pile if it's been seen.

There are hundreds of books published every year--many more if you count self published. Your name is on that book--for God's sakes, do everything you can to make it the best you can be. Writing takes practice and lots of work. Brush up on your English, use spellcheck, and get an editor. A friend who is good in grammar is a valuable friend. He/she might not be able to help you with plot holes or story pace, but nothing can wreck a good story for me than to see bad spelling, punctuation, and grammar. True, none of us are perfect and that's why we all have editors, but really?

You might even be able to go to a local college and snag an English student to proof it for a few bucks. Anything would be better than letting it go as it is.

Even my social media posts get edited before I hit the send button. How can I expect people to take me seriously as a writer if I can't string a sentence together on Facebook? And I see it all the time from people who want to know why they can't seem to get a brake (see what I did there?)

English is one of your major tools. You need to learn to use it well. I keep a copy of The Elements of Style  on the shelf next to my desk for easy reference. It can usually handle most any grammar problem I have. The better my copy is, the less work for the editor and the better writer you become.

It really does annoy me. Don't be that annoying person. Take the time and go through your manuscript and clean it up. It will always be beneficial to you in the end.

Rick