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Old 03-05-2013, 12:02 PM   #121
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So the lesson should be: Proofreading and copy editing is important. Mistakes like that distract from content.
Did you ask people to ignore early-draft errors like that and to focus on content instead?
This.

I've been doing some beta reading lately, and I've only taken the ones that come with clear information on the current stage in the writing process, and the author's expectations - "I'm wanting feedback on the story progression before doing a copy edit", for ex. If the author thinks that it's been well edited already, I'll definitely point out that it needs more work in that area.

A good story with spelling, punctuation and grammar errors is like a beautiful vista marred by ugly billboards and bits of litter everywhere. It is poor presentation, period.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:26 PM   #122
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A good story with spelling, punctuation and grammar errors is like a beautiful vista marred by ugly billboards and bits of litter everywhere. It is poor presentation, period.
Sounds like a backlist eBook with unfixed OCR errors.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:12 PM   #123
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CWatkinsNash

You are so very right. But I can't help but think that, if any of those presently standing accused were to utter "let he who is without sin", I might need to lower my aim and turn for home.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:02 PM   #124
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CWatkinsNash

You are so very right. But I can't help but think that, if any of those presently standing accused were to utter "let he who is without sin", I might need to lower my aim and turn for home.
I would think the only requirement is that the reader making the complaint be able to read. I shouldn't be required to tolerate writing errors simply because I can't point to a perfect example of my own creation. If one chooses to use language as the tool for their art, they must first know how to use it properly, and / or consult with someone who does.

I know some of the examples posted earlier in the thread come down to stylistic choices, but I can just write those off as "not my thing". My beef, however, isn't with subjective issues - it's with actual errors. Punctuation, spelling, inconsistent use of tense / perspective... These are the things that bother me.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:42 PM   #125
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CWatkinsNash

Once again what you say is correct. My comments were not intended as a criticism of your message but rather an expression of my own understanding of the frailties of the lesser authors/writers of the world.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:05 PM   #126
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CWatkinsNash

Once again what you say is correct. My comments were not intended as a criticism of your message but rather an expression of my own understanding of the frailties of the lesser authors/writers of the world.
I should preface that I'm not arguing with you, but rather arguing against the notion that people should rein in their criticisms due to this perceived fragility.

As a mediocre musician and songwriter, I feel qualified to say that treating artists as delicate flowers does no favors to anyone. I'm not calling for folks to take up pitchforks against less-skilled writers or be mean to them, but I feel that the tolerance for these issues that I've been seeing is doing a disservice to everyone including the writer.

I've seen firsthand what happens when someone is never given an honest appraisal of their level of talent. They can't grow as an artist, they can't balance their expectations, and they can't separate the ego from the art. (It could have easily happened to me, but my (former) low self-esteem balanced out my family's projected delusions of grandeur, and I came out a realist instead.)

The same thing happens when we give glowing reviews for books that are not well-written, or when we give someone a 5-star pat-on-the-head for just managing to write a book. Writing a book is an accomplishment, and one that should be acknowledged, but how can that writer grow if we overlook areas that need improvement?

All we're doing is making the marketplace even more of a slush pile, all for the sake of protecting someone's feelings over something that isn't even personal, no matter how personal it may feel at first. If someone wants to compete on the same virtual store shelves as Professional Big Name Author, then they need to handle themselves as professionals, and that includes dealing with negative criticism.

Last edited by CWatkinsNash; 03-06-2013 at 09:07 PM. Reason: spelling :D
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:48 PM   #127
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CWatkinsNash,

You are indeed a formidable and eloquent advocate. I have enjoyed the clash of our blades but fear that I am not near your match. So it is that I will withdraw my misplaced understanding of author fragility and re-assign it to the orifice where it belongs. It has been a pleasure fair lady.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:40 AM   #128
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Saw this the other day (not an indie book) "he shuffled laterally to his right" surely shuffling to your right already implies lateral movement...
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:28 AM   #129
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Saw this the other day (not an indie book) "he shuffled laterally to his right" surely shuffling to your right already implies lateral movement...
Nah, you could shuffle to the right while facing forwards or turn and shuffle to the right - let's you know he's still facing forwards, I'm guessing he's trying to find snack food in a cupboard while hung over .
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:44 AM   #130
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but then you'd be turning to your right and shuffling forward, not shuffling to your right
For me "shuffling to your right" implies that you're facing the same direction and moving sideways, I can't see a reason for "laterally" to be added.

Edit: and the character was climbing a wall...

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Old 03-12-2013, 12:03 PM   #131
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but then you'd be turning to your right and shuffling forward, not shuffling to your right
For me "shuffling to your right" implies that you're facing the same direction and moving sideways, I can't see a reason for "laterally" to be added.

Edit: and the character was climbing a wall...
Well, if you are climbing a wall, shuffling laterally shows you're not going at a diagonal

Maybe we should let the writer know it should be "bouldering to the right", obviously poor research into the correct rock climbing terms
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:57 PM   #132
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Maybe we should let the writer know it should be "bouldering to the right", obviously poor research into the correct rock climbing terms
Excellent, learnt something I didn't know
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:02 PM   #133
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I've never actually heard "bouldering" used like that. I've only heard it used to mean the activity of making short climbs without ropes.

Anythewho... given all the circumstances -- eg, knowing that someone climbing a wall is unlikely to turn his entire body to face parallel to the wall and walk in mid-air -- the 'laterally' does seem redundant.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:34 PM   #134
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There's no One True Way to develop writing ability. Some writers may need ruthless criticism. Others may require a more gentle touch. Some writers' perfectionism and constant re-writing prevents them from publishing anything. Others are shameless slobs who should be flogged for their sins against orthography. And so on. There are all types of writers with all types of needs.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:50 AM   #135
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Seems like people here are very strict when it comes to writing. My opinion would be, if you are a writer you should probably be able to write the right article. Perhaps if you are not, then so be it
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