Thursday, 23 December 2010

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart..

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.  ~William Wordsworth

I have a major issue with grammar and I say this at every opportunity I can as I am quite ashamed of it. I want to justify and excuse my bad use of English language before someone else points this out to me. It is utterly awful I know but is good grammar essential to be a novelist?  No I don’t think so, for me I just want to write like I have said in previous posts the words kind of fly out of me, I don’t even think about the grammar but due to my shame I must start thinking about this. Surely I will be a better writer if it all makes sense the first time around and requires less editing. Surely I will try to get across what I am saying to my reader with fewer words. To be succinct is to be a good writer I think. 

So my edited manuscript arrived a couple of days ago with a covering letter indicating that I had a “serious issue” with punctuation. I knew that already but I swallowed the criticism and a three page lecture on where to use commas and semi colons. I will read that bit later. The manuscript was carefully edited and ideas and solutions suggested. I was very impressed they even checked the spelling of a famous Bollywood actor. Brownie points to the editors!! So I trawled through the manuscript and accepted the tracked changes, mostly just punctuation. I kind of skim read paragraphs and clicked on accept. To just accept the clean copy they had sent through as well would have meant that I didn’t really care surely. I have now printed (hopefully the final edited version) manuscript to go through with a fine tooth comb. I am paying for this book to be published so of course it has to be perfect. As perfect as it can be for someone who has never written or published a book before. For someone who desperately (like most writers) wants to be a published writer. I wonder to myself whether this will be a stepping stone, whether after this book has been published the next book will have a better footing because surely I could now put this on my writers CV, which is currently blank. We will see how this develops as I read through my book through the holidays. 

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