The art of writing and the pitfalls.

There happens to be a lot of work between having a bright, shiny new idea and a finished product getting loaded onto platforms, all ready to sell. Whether a writer outlines a story, or is an organic writer, (pantzer), the process is, or should be much the same. There are various drafts, and this can be anywhere between three and fifty. Every time the author decides to alter something, there is a knock on effect and the the whole manuscript has to be reread to check everything is still in place and behaving how it is intended to behave. Of course, as the drafts edge towards a finished product, it is necessary to check and recheck the mechanics. Mundane little things like commas, semicolons, spelling, spacing, etc. Yes, my publishing house has the best editorial department EVER, but it is still a matter of professionalism to turn in the very best and very cleanest manuscript I can achieve.

All this goes on behind the scenes and yes, the story is thoroughly edited by the publisher. A writer can get blind to errs and accidently miss the odd one or two, or not have the correct usage on something or the other. Whatever, the now finished product is returned to the author to check over for the final time. It is now squeaky clean and fit to be distributed. Unfortunately, this takes an unexpected toll on the writer.

My personal pleasure reading has now become a lot more limited. The problem lies in error identification while I am reading to the point where the mistakes will leap off a page and do a samba on my eyeballs. This totally destroys my ability to suspend disbelief and immerse myself in the story, should the tome in question have failed to undergo editing. Sometimes, when the errs are few, it is possible to continue. Sometimes it is not and this is often, unfortunately, the case of books offered on free promo.

I was forced to give up reading a book last night as the punctuation was out of this world. The analogy I can give is that if commas represented money, then the this was a novice gambler playing with someone else’s unlimited supply of chips. Had this been a printed book and not an ebook, then the extra ink on all the wrong commas would probably have been sufficient to fill a bathtub. Bemused, and catapulted out of the story, I wondered if this was a clever play on pictures and if I stared at the page I would see a picture form from the commas. Maybe a face, or a flower, or even Mr Stay-puffed Marshmallow Man, but no, not a trace of a pattern.

This is very disappointing as the story did look interesting from the blurb, which I assume was written by someone else who didn’t have a penchant to overpopulate prose with punctuation. I am left to wonder why someone would let a precious baby out into the world in this deplorable state? So disappointed.

3 thoughts on “The art of writing and the pitfalls.

  1. Fran Macilvey

    I do so agree! I am often totally unable to switch off my inner editor or read in peace, these days. I regret that.

    Sometimes I find it relatively easy to switch hats with just a decision that really, I want to relax and read for fun for a change….it often works….but not always. xxxx 😀

    Reply

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