If you’re reading this, you know I’m a writer. Obviously.
What you might not know is that I’m an aspiring author. I’ve been writing stories of various forms for as long as I can remember, and have started using writing to make a bit of money on Fiverr.com.
I also love to read. Throughout my childhood, most (or all, I think) of the books I’ve read have been traditionally published books. That is, the authors went through the rigorous process of being picked up by publishing houses, often through agents, and these publisher would do much of the editing, promotional work, etc.
Things have changed , though. There are quite a few books that are self-published, and with the rise of eBooks, the number has increased manifold. A few of these have found their way into my hands.
And… honestly, some of them are… well… very bad.
I’ve read some traditionally published books that aren’t good, too, don’t get me wrong. The one that comes to mind is The Host by Stephenie Meyer of Twilight fame.
But self-published books… wow.
I could talk about storytelling mechanics here, but I’ve decided to discuss grammar instead. Many of these writers seem not to have a good grasp of Standard English grammar. I’ve seen apostrophes misused as plural markers rather than possession markers, incorrect use of capital letters (as in “Stop it,” She said.) and even improper punctuation (for example, “Stop it.” she said.”).
What irks me even more is when these errors pop up in traditionally published works.
I do try not to be overly judgemental, though. Both writing and the grammar associated with it are artificial constructs that someone has to be taught, and not everyone mastered. But… these types of errors really take away from the experience of reading for me.
My fellow writers, I implore you to pay as much attention as possible to grammar. It looks poorly on you if your work looks sloppy. If it’s a weakness you have, you may want to consider investing in an editor. A good editor.
I’m saying this to myself, too. I’ve been seriously considering self-publishing lately; and hope to introduce my first book to the world in the near future.
To all of my writer friends and colleagues, happy writing!