I’ve always been a bit of a grammar-nazi. Can I use that term?
okay I’m back – I stopped to do some research – Can I use of the term x-nazi?? It was a fun rabbit hole to procrastinate down for a while! Perhaps I should refer to myself as the grammar-police to avoid Godwin’s Law (look it up, go down a rabbit hole!) but it doesn’t have the same ring to it. You can’t say “I’m a grammar policewoman.” That’s just dumb.
Yes…editing…I’m editing again (still, perpetually). It is not fun, hence the rabbit hole procrastination. I’m also reading the third book in a series by an established Australian author who shall remain nameless because I am finding typos and editing errors. Argh! I don’t want to edit books that paid editors have edited…I used the word edit too many times and I think I may explode. I find myself getting quite frustrated at this book. It feels rushed. One of my friends who read my first four chapters gave me the oft-given advice “Show, don’t Tell”. I feel this book is doing exactly that. Frustrating to read in a traditionally published book, especially when I’m reading it daily in my own book!
Great resources for better editing and better writing!
Corey Truax – What is Deep POV.
below…Youtube video probably made for kids but excellent for understanding the concept of Show, don’t Tell.
I know computers are often to blame for leading us astray when we edit. I was horrified by all the typos and spelling/word usage errors in my own book evading even the careful eyes of two wonderful and clever people who read it. (And that original ending…argh…! What was I thinking?) Typos and using the wrong word seem so obvious but Auto-correct can certainly be a false friend in the process. We really come to rely on it!
When I worked the in the Dream Job, we had a run-in with auto-correct that cost the boss a lot of money and a lot of loss of face. I was the in-house artist but I worked with a lot of *gatekeepers who were very keen to *silo at every opportunity. For whatever reason, some of my colleagues were very protective of what they saw as their turf so when it came time to find a French poem to have etched on a very large and very expensive mirror for a job, the powers that be didn’t ask for my help, even though as a Francophile and in-house artist I was a wonderful resource for them. They used the first stanza of L’Homme et la mer by Charles Baudelaire.
Homme libre, toujours tu chériras la mer!
La mer est ton miroir; tu contemples ton âme
Dans le déroulement infini de sa lame,
Et ton esprit n’est pas un gouffre moins amer.
(Free man, you will always cherish the sea!
The sea is your mirror; you contemplate your soul
In the infinite unrolling of its billows;
Your mind is an abyss that is no less bitter.)
The unfortunate thing was that the computer had auto-corrected the first word Homme to home, a word that means absolutely nothing in French. It read Home libre, toujours…. This was etched on a huge mirror, which was glued to a wall then an enormous ornate frame was glued around it. After the French chef of the hotel pointed the problem out, my boss went into damage control but found no option but to replace the mirror. As an afterthought he showed me the poem and asked, somewhat sceptically if I could see the mistake. I pointed it out immediately and asked why on earth they didn’t show me first..? Why didn’t they? The bigger question is why I stayed in a job that undervalued me so greatly for soooo long…?
Anyway…that got dark…editing can do that to you…
Feature image – My photo from my #happyplace Tallebudgera Creek.