Gabrielle Bisset

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Thoughts and Some Texas-Sized Brass Balls

I'm over at HeartFelt Promos in the Hot Seat for an interview today, and they asked me some different questions than I'm used to, so take a peak. I think I do more interviews than anyone else I've ever met, but keep in mind that I generally only know people in low places, so that might skew the numbers. ;) (Cue the Garth Brooks song.)

Someone suggested to me that I do a weekly post on something that piques my interest.  While I don't know if I'm willing to commit to something like that every Friday because things come up all the time that would make it impossible, I thought it was a good idea and agreed to write about something when it came up. Well, this morning something came up.

I receive an email every morning from a blog about writing.  Keep that in mind as I continue with this post.  Almost every post at this blog is riddled with grammar errors.  The irony is almost too much for me sometimes.  I've almost written them an email on several occasions to inform them of how bad this looks. I haven't because I imagine these writers would simply ignore it or lash out against me publicly (yeah, they're a bit like that). 

The grammar errors in their posts are downright embarrassing.  They're never spelling errors, but that's because most blog setups have what Blogger has, I imagine: whenever I type too fast and misspell a word, a little red squiggly line pops up underneath the misspelled word.  The problem is that blogs don't have grammar check.  As a result, each post at this writers' blog is a mess, and it's a shame because often they have useful ideas for today's authors. However, far too often, the writing is just so poor that it's difficult to get through.

Basic problems like subject-verb agreement and pronoun-antecedent agreement ruin their posts on a regular basis.  Now you might say that you struggle with that too.  Okay, but unless you're claiming to have the answers about writing and how to produce a bestselling book, you're cool.  You can struggle in anonymity. 

Or how about comma use?  Oh...this is a huge problem for this group.  It's enough to make you cringe.  And run ons?  Even worse. 

Now I'm sure some will say these are small things, but they aren't.  Writers who claim to know something about what they're doing shouldn't post blogs riddled with English grammar errors.  Their posts tell me that they don't know much about grammar, but these writers sell a ton of books.  However, a quick trip to Amazon shows that critical reviews for their books often center on editing problems.  I'm not surprised.

An excellent editor is a writer's best friend, but at some point as a writer, don't you learn by your mistakes?  If a writer continually told instead of showed, the writing community, especially in romance, would be barking out their disapproval from the highest rooftops.  However, making the same grammar mistakes in your public writing that you obviously make in your books is perfectly acceptable?  No, sorry, that's not the case.  If you're reading the edits your editor sends, you begin to see a pattern of grammatical behavior that requires fixing.  The learning and growing as an author part happens when you watch for them in your next book and begin to not make the same mistake.

As an aside to wrap this up, someone just posted a comment on this site that took them to task for their constant grammar issues and what I believed would happen did.  The person was attacked and one of the writers even went to the commenter's blog and looked for grammar issues there. 


Now those are balls the size of Texas and those babies are brass. Hope everyone has a great weekend!


shah wharton said...

I'm no grammar expert - AT ALL! But I read a lot of freebie and 99c e-books and well, I've learned just how bad it can get. Writing and getting critiques has also taught me so much. I do have a lot to learn and hope I'll continue to learn. But then, like you say, I would never claim to know more about it than I do. And shouldn't they deal with criticism more professionally than that? Really, who ever they are, they sound ignorant and petty. Good grip Gabrielle ;D And breath! X

Gabrielle said...

They spent all morning attacking her, Shah. It was embarrassing. I think it might be time to discontinue my subscription.

Bree said...

I got a review the other day that was so riddled with grammar problems I almost didn't post it. But then I figured that I was probably the only one who even read it! I feel your pain.