If you read my previous post right after I published it, you probably saw my many mistakes. I did what most newbie writers do and hit the publish button too soon. I wrote it late at night, and the next morning when I reread it, I realized I wrote that I wanted to be a” fictional writer,” haha! Although I may be a fictional writer, I meant to say, fiction writer. That is why it is essential to take a break before you hit the publish button and reread it at a later time to catch all the little mistakes. Even though I run Grammarly on all my devices, I still have typos, especially if I am typing on my phone.
Since it is easier than ever to publish on many platforms, too many individuals are eager to see their work published before taking the time to perfect their writing. I know I did my first time, and my book is in its third revision. It’s a delicate balance. As an author, I know what it is like to put many hours into writing something and have it rejected. I know what it is like to have a passionate story to tell and no one to listen. I want to help authors achieve their dream of publishing good, quality work of which they can be proud. Unfortunately, many writers don’t like to hear criticism or what they need to change in their writing. The stories that they write are a part of them and to critique their writing is like wounding their soul. But in my opinion, if someone wants to publish a book, shouldn’t it reflect in the best way possible?
I compare it to a woman putting on makeup before she goes out in public. The whole point of wearing makeup is so that people will see her looking her best. Many women wouldn’t be caught dead out in public without makeup or whatever else it is that she does to make herself presentable. So why would she want to publish a book that hasn’t” got its makeup on?” By makeup, I’m referring to editing, proofreading, formatting, and any other improvements that can be made to the book to get it to it’s best quality possible. Unfortunately, getting the right person to help with edits and proofreading can be costly. And even sometimes individuals who claim they can do those things for you, aren’t as good as they say they are and it still isn’t edited to perfection.
Don’t misunderstand me. I know that no book can be edited to perfection, but I use perfection here to mean good quality. Some may argue that quality is subjective, just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Many artworks have been bought at astronomical prices and look like a three-year-old could have done it. But if the right person says it is worth a million bucks, people around the world will be clamoring to buy that piece of art for a million bucks. The same can be said about a book. I have read many books that I thought were fantastic, and then I read other people’s review of the book, and they hated it. An author is not going to be able to please everyone.
My pet peeve is misspellings and grossly incorrect grammar. Once or twice, I can excuse an overlooked word or two, but consistent poor spelling and incorrect use of the English language is not acceptable. I also realize that some individuals who are non-native English speakers want to write books in the English language. That is admirable, but be sure to have a native English speaker review the work and help make corrections. The non-native English speaker probably wants to improve his/her English, so why allow them to continue to miswrite it. I would hold the same standards for any language. I can only speak English, and I have the utmost respect for those that can speak more than one language, but it doesn’t serve the author well to write incorrectly and be laughed at by the native language speakers. You wouldn’t want to practice any other sport or art incorrectly and have it ingrained into your muscle memory incorrectly. It takes twice as much work to correct a poorly developed habit as it does to practice it correctly in the first place. So, I implore whoever is reading this. Take the time to review your writing carefully and thoughtfully. Reread it a dozen times, have someone else read over it, run it through Grammarly or ProWriting Aid, do whatever it takes. Let it sit for a time and come back to it. Hone your craft and be proud of your writing. If you want to earn respect and, maybe a few dollars in the process, you have to work at perfecting your writing at all costs. Otherwise, we will find our society like it was portrayed in the movie Cloud Atlas, reduced to speaking gibberish and no one making any sense.
More on writing a story in a later post.