Thursday, October 16, 2014

Grammar Police Need Not Apply…

     For almost thirty years I have been an avid reader, reading thousands of books. From fiction, biographies, historical texts, to general nonfiction. Since I began writing, I find myself doing extensive research. Research on subjects for books or blog posts, or even texts for school. It always amazes me when I see an article bashing an author for grammar. If that is the worst issue, you can find in the story perhaps their time would be better spent writing a textbook on proper grammar.
     It would be one thing if there were extensive grammatical errors in some of these works but the truth is there often aren't. Another point to mention is what one person may feel should be said one way may be grammatically correct as it is. To say typo’s, misprints and grammatical errors don't occur in books produced by large publishing houses is frankly bunk. I've had teachers tell us as students to disregard a misprint in the text. Famous authors often can have typos in their  stories. You’re reading a book for the story. As a reader, I would rather get my hands on a good story that takes me to another world then read something that is absolutely boring, but grammatically correct.
     The human eye will overlook errors; it is a truth in writing. When we write and reread, it isn't hard to miss something small. With that being said, I cannot refute the fact that a good editor for a book is essential. There are plenty of reputable ones out there for hire that do this tedious task day in and day out. Winging it and not going through the process is just plain lazy. There are programs such as grammarly, white smoke, etc. that are out there to help writers, and students pull together a well-written document. So to not use them is foolish.
     What truly burns my cookies is the dogged focus some reviewers seem to have taken on Indie writers for not taking the corporate publishing route. In this changing world, I for one am glad to be able to read books that I would never have had the opportunity to read otherwise. Let face it, the big publishing house can reject, ignore, or stick your manuscript on the shelf because they don’t feel the time is right. It may sit and mold for years out of sight.
      The growing trend of “reputable” authors who are turning to self-publishing is a strong indicator that the industry is changing for the better. Now if only the academics, libraries, and other holdouts could get off their pedestals it might actually create a level playing field.
     With that being said, if you’re reviewing a book, paper, or document you are supposed to be reading the story. If your focus is solely on the editing then, you aren't bringing life to the article you’re writing or being fair to the writer. Editing is clinical, technical and to the point. Writing, on the other hand, is about emotion. I haven’t had a reviewer shred my writing for the editing, but it does happen. More frequently than is often fair, these negative responses have long lasting effects. Not to mention the negative focus that is placed on editing clouds the actual story which may be great.
     So a word to the wise, if you’re reviewing a book, just remember it isn't a far stretch to have the reviewer become the reviewed.  It is very easy to sit in a tree with the other monkeys and throw poop, but what happens when the poop is thrown back?

I hope you will check back tomorrow night for the conclusion of The Albertville Black Bear by Todd Serad. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to leave a comment and share your own thoughts on an issue.

Its More then Just a Dream

Search This Blog

Follow by Email