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Friday, May 24, 2013

Putting the Editing Back in Publishing - Blak Rayne #writers #novels #literature #editing

Welcome to BRB and, another FFAF! Right now, I'm in the middle of final edits of Older the Better, which should be published by mid June. The wonderful lady, who helps me with this brain-numbing process, kind of gave me a verbal smack the other day (via email), for a silly mistake I made, which brings me to the inspiration behind this post.
So, let's step away from the interviews and book promos, excerpts and guest articles, today I wish to discuss the editing process, as an author versus the reader, or reviewer.
Stephen King stated: "If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot."
Okay. Got it. If you write and read constantly, you're own skills are bound to improve. But, and this is a big but...what if the other author's bad habits rub off on you?
In my case, I screwed up the dialogue and action tag punctuation in Older the Better. Yep, I know. Don't say it. After all this time I should be competent, right? Well, in my defence, the last book I read, the editor allowed the misuse of dialogue and action tag punctuation. And, whether I wished to or not, I started to unconsciously repeat that editor's mistake in my own novel.
I hate to say this, but lately I've noticed a trend, mainly with the so-called big name authors, in which their books have been published with grammatical errors. Poor punctuation. Overuse and incorrect placement of adverbs. Mixing POVs. Shifting between tenses. Repetitive word use and redundant adjectives. I could go on, but I think I'll stop because I'm pretty sure you've got the idea.
I've read numerous blog posts, actually, one just recently, that stated because these authors have world wide status (who they are) it's okay for them to break the rules. Really? In my eyes that's an extremely poor excuse. And, not only is it an excuse, it's crap. If we want the generations subsequent to ours to grow up completely ignorant with a warped sense of literature and structure of the English language, then keep it up. Not only are the supposed best sellers and YA books the harbingers of inaccurate grammar and missing punctuation etc., they are also breeding thousands of misinformed reviewers.
Not long ago, I received a nice review for The Ideal Side of Love. Honestly, it was nice, and I appreciate the praise, but there was one huge mistake the reviewer made...The Ideal Side of Love was written in first person POV, not third person. The reviewer stated that they didn't understand why I'd switched half way through the novel. I didn't switch POV.
Unfortunately, though the review did compliment, he or she also criticized, but for something that didn't even exist in the book. Do you see where I'm going with this?
I'm a perfectionist at heart. That's why it takes me longer to publish a bookwhich I'm working on. I hope to publish another three novels before the year endmy goal. Aside from that, I have always and will always strive to produce the best novels I can. Personal preference. I hate reading crap, so I refuse to publish crap. I take pride in what I do, I just need to speed up the process. I know certain rules within writing are meant to be broken and can be broken, as in reference to the author's written voicesyntax that separates them from all others. I also recognize the real world is chaotic, therefore an author, in order to create reality may add a little of that chaos to his or her novel. But there has to be a limit. In the end, poor grammar won't do any of us any favours.
Have a great weekend!
Happy Yaoi Hunting!
Blak Rayne


  1. I am completely with you, here, although I would point out that there is a difference between rules of grammar, which are immutable, and 'rules' of writing, which don't really exist.
    The idea that you can't have different POVs, for example is ridiculous. Writers have always done so. What matters is whether it is done well.
    Some of the people who have edited my work have had only the slightest acquaintance with the rules of grammar, but they all felt themselves qualified to strike out adverbs, change to American spellings and idioms and tell me I wasn't allowed to write from more than one POV. Of course I am. That's why I'm writing in the third person and not the first.
    Maybe they need to read a few of the classics again. Or maybe they think they know better than the great authors?
    High time we had better editors.
    I really hope your plea is heard

    1. Thanks for the insight and stopping by, Jenny! I do agree with authors/editors breaking the rules, it can be done, but it must to be done well and sparingly.

      But, within reference to my comment on POVs, I know you can have different POVs within one novel/story, in other words from each character's perspective (written in third person passive/third person omniscient etc.), but you can't jump from the type of POV you're using. If you choose first person POV it has to stay consistent throughout the book, no matter how many characters use it.

      Bouncing back and forth between the actually type of perspective would be confusing as hell for the reader.

      I believe everyone in the publishing industry has an obligation to salvage the English language, and they can still keep the quirks.