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?'s for the Members of CR > All Things Grammar

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message 1: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (kerylraist) | 89 comments I have something of a two level issue here:

First off, does anyone know a British equivalent of a Hacker's Guide or Chicago Manual. I know Brit English and US English are not identical, and I'd like to be able to get into the nitty gritty of it. Very specifically, does anyone know if Brit English requires a comma with a coordinating conjunction when connecting two independent clauses?

On a related note, how do you handle frequent grammar errors that don't really hurt the story. Example: the writer has no clue when to use a comma with an and or but. Sometimes it's right, sometimes it's wrong, but in the end you still know what the writer is trying to say. Or, for example, the writer uses the wrong homonym, you still know they meant to say, but it's clearly wrong.

Now, I'm not talking about one or two oops moments. I mean the level of mistakes that make it abundantly clear the author either never learned the right way or forgot it ten minutes after doing so.


message 2: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments Let me just say that i have no knowledge of grammar or puncutation...you can ask my editor. LOL. I cannot use a comma well at all. So i can't really answer your questions. But, I do have an opinion. I always have an opinion. lol.
Grammar and punctuation mistakes no matter if they don't harm the story are still mistakes. they should be fixed...As a writer I want them all fixed. Just because most won't recognize there is an error doesn't mean some won't. I don't want that stigma. I want to put out the best book I can. You know?

Why take all the time to write and craft a story if some "harmless" errors remain?


message 3: by Cassie (new)

Cassie McCown (cassie629) | 713 comments I can't really answer your questions...but I can commiserate with you on frequent grammar errors. I'm going through a manuscript right now that there are so many things that are technically wrong, but they don't hurt the story at all. If I were to change everything, it would make is seem so..."stiff"... Does that make sense? Right now, I am just picking and choosing what is REALLY bothering me vs. what I can let go...

*shrug*


message 4: by Charlie (new)

Charlie (bitsyblingbooks) | 42 comments All I can say is make sure you know absolutely what you're complaining about when it comes to grammar. There is more acceptable flexibility than most (I think) realize. What was taught 25 years ago is not what is taught today. My mother's grammar is not my grammar or my children's grammar. There is also room for creativity when it comes to grammar. I could get into all the authors who busted through the rigid door on this subject. Those who broke the mold are now classic, model writers but they weren't at the time. Voice, tone, emphasis -- some 'mistakes' are on purpose and can hint to more than just preference and can elude to complete satirical rejection. Yes, a comma can do that. Fiction is creative on all levels. To construct every sentence grammatical correct would lead to wooden, critical, dry and robotic prose. Nothing would end in a preposition and where would we be without that? Twilight simply wouldn't exist. The horror!


message 5: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments now as far as grammar goes....i don't think it should be entirely proper b/c people don't talk like that...I was mainly referring to punctuation. But verb tense and things like that should always be corrected... :)


message 6: by Cassie (new)

Cassie McCown (cassie629) | 713 comments Charlie wrote: "All I can say is make sure you know absolutely what you're complaining about when it comes to grammar. There is more acceptable flexibility than most (I think) realize. What was taught 25 years a..."

I agree! ;-)


message 7: by C.S. Splitter (new)

C.S. Splitter | 979 comments Just my opinions:

It SO depends on what the author is going for.

There is a fantasy series out there that is full of punctuation errors, but the errors are consistent. That is just the way the author chose to do his punctuation. It was really weird at first but after a few pages I got used to it.

The Dresden Files is full of errors in grammar. That's because the author made the tone of the book "conversational". One or two word sentences, dangling participles, prepositions, etc.. Some of that may be the nature of the books in that they are narrated in the first person.

Grammar, and spelling, change over time, that is true. It is also true that writing a grammatically correct sentence may make it very awkward to read. The same can be said for certain instances of verb tense.

The key, I think, is consistency. It shows that the author was doing it on purpose and not making mistakes. Call it a conscious artistic decision to break the rules.

I think that we Americans are the ones mangling the language lol. When I read a book by a British author, their grammar is usually impeccable.

As for commas....I tend to over use them. They serve as pauses in my sentences sometimes. I really consciously try to avoid using them unless necessary or for effect. So maybe I now under-utilize them.

Thankfully, there are many times when comma use is optional. On the other hand, I hate reading long sentences that are strung together by commas...they may be correct, but they don't read well.

OH! And I love starting sentences with conjunctions AND ending them with ellipses....

:)

Splitter


message 8: by Ottilie (new)

Ottilie (ottilie_weber) | 474 comments Oh, grammar and I are not real friendly with each other...


message 9: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
I think fiction writing may be the best type of writing for those who are not too picky about exact grammar. When writing from a first person perspective, many authors will make errors on purpose to show that things are a little more personal, more warm, more engaging. The script is written more like it would sound if the person were truly telling the story to you. In that case, the errors are not that big of a deal.

A few people have already mentioned that the rules of grammar and punctuation change ALL THE TIME. Some rules come in and out of 'fashion' quite frequently. For example: right now, it is not necessary to place a comma in a compound sentence. The rule on that right now is basically, 'use your best judgement'. If the sentence is easier to read with the comma in place, insert the comma. If not, it isn't required to be there in fiction writing. Non-fiction writing is a separate entity all its own. The rules are rigid and must be followed for things such as textbooks, manuals and things of that nature.

I think Charlie made a great point - know what you are talking about before you criticize another person's mistakes. It is not pretty when you point out other people's flaws and do not realize they aren't really flaws. If you are an author yourself, definitely DO NOT point out another author's flaws if you have the same errors in your manuscript (gasp!)

My personal taste as far as the errors go, I hate reading things that have errors in it. It keeps my feet planted to far in reality because I focus so much on the errors that I have a hard time losing myself in the world I am reading about. If it is a stylistic method, then it is different. But I have come across too many books that have been published with an abundance of errors that you can just tell are not there to create any sort of 'feel' within the book. That to me just shows a lack of professionalism and care by the author. That situation will leave a bad taste in my mouth, and if the errors are frequent enough, I would not recommend that book to a friend.


message 10: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments Ohhhhh, *sigh*. This conversation is very interesting but also very taxing. lol.
@Ottilie- i think we might be related. LOL
I really dislike that the rules for grammar and puncuation change all the time! How is a writer supposed to keep up with all these rules? I write stories not proper sentences. gah.
However, i do want my stories to flow really well and for the reader to be able to get obsorbed into the story. which cannot happen with bad grammar and even bad punctuation.

I am certainly not one point out flaws because I have enough of my own. I certainly know what i like and don't like and often times lack the verbage to express myself in a way that lends to intelligence. So usually i keep my mouth shut or...I call my editor.
I think this whole conversation just goes to show how key an editor really is. And really an authors style. Because sure, creating a "warm feeling" through dialogue that may not be correct is great but hacking up your writing trying to create said style is never going to work.
now, I will take myself off here and quite rambling because no one probably even understands my bi-polar ranting anyway, LOL.

Oh and Splitter...I love to use comma's for pausing in dialogue....I think its dramatic. LOL


message 11: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
HA!! You kill me, woman!

I know constant changing of rules can be a bit of a pain, but that is what your editor is for. You sit back, write a truly excellent piece of literature, and you let me take care of the boring parts for you, girl!

By the way, that was totally NOT bi-polar, I have SEEN your bi-polar! LMAO


message 12: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments LMAO.
Yes, you and my husband know my bi-polar ways best....
and you all still hang around. I'm shocked!

Well its a good thing I have an editor who keeps up on that stuff cause I'd quite writing. For real. That stuff makes my head hurt. LOL. I like to create...not rip apart. LOL


message 13: by Lena (new)

Lena | 191 comments Grammar rules are lax here in the US. Correct grammar is often sacrificed for voice.

I use commas in a conversational way, adding them when I want the reader to pause and leaving them out when I dont want them to. (Notice my incorrect grammar in the last sentence).

Also, I've seen lots and lots of books where fragments are used. I use some, esp. in my YA books. I also start lots of sentences with conjuctions. I think i'm consistent. I think.


message 14: by Scott (new)

Scott Smithson The use of commas is punctuation, not grammar.

That being said, anyone who thinks the British write more grammatically correct sentences than Americans has not read the continuous run-on that is 'Mrs. Dalloway'.

I think that too much attention placed on supposedly correct grammatical form produces stilted, unreadable writing. (up with which I shall not put) Failure to pay attention to some kind of standard also results in garbage. The artistic part of writing is more about figuring out this balance.


message 15: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (kerylraist) | 89 comments Yeah, probably not making myself very clear here. I'm fine with intentional mistakes. Anything written in "voice" should sound like spoken English, and that means fragments, long wandering sentences, jargon, common spoken errors (I/me type things), etc. Likewise I get it when you're writing some sort of stylistic thing where you leave all the commas out, or whatever.

I'm more talking about the sort of work where it looks like a shot gun was loaded with punctuation and fired at the document. The sort of thing where one sentence the semicolon is used correctly and the next it's not, and there's no real pattern to it.

Meanwhile, it drives me buggy when I see loose instead of lose over and over and over. Or peak for peek (and one time, pique). (Notice fragment.) I don't care how cutting edge and post ironic you are, that's not a stylistic choice.

From what I've been reading it never was incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition or start one with a conjunction. Sure we were all taught that, but that's not actually in the "real" rules. It's just the sort of thing that, like masturbation causes blindness, was a popular lie to tell children.

Anyway, I don't want to be a grammar Nazi, but I do want to read/review text that at least looks like it saw a proofreader at some point.

It seems like this group finds the idea of dinging an author for his/her grammar (if you can still figure out what the author is trying to say) inappropriate.


message 16: by C.S. Splitter (new)

C.S. Splitter | 979 comments No, it's (its? lol, just KIDDING!) not inappropriate.

By the way, is it getting dark in here? My eye sight is not what it once was. Never mind :).

If it's clear that someone has no clue, it is appropriate to call them on it.

Way back when, in the stone age, when I was in school, we were taught that it was more proper to say "its'" in the possessive. Now it is "its". Which is wrong, but it is right (gawd, writing without contractions is a bear!).

Fist person narration in fiction definitely leaves some leeway.

I have been reading alot (I did that on purpose, it is a pet peeve of mine) of literature from the 1800's lately. Mostly speeches and letters. Those people could WRITE! The prose is just damned beautiful. It is complicated, but beautiful and that includes the spoken word.

I don't want to see grammar go away especially in this age of "text speak". I read business memos now with "Ur", "Me2", and "OMG!". The Neanderthal in me rebels!

I honestly think we are getting dumber.

Splitter


message 17: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments OMG, Spliiter! You are totally right! Maybe we could be BFF's and hang?

p.s. Ur so cool!

LOL


message 18: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments Now, that above does indeed make me look dumb...but I think it also makes you smile....am I right???
So what have we learned here? That dumb is fun or dumb is dumb??
Hmmmmm
maybe I don't appear dumb but i do look to be about 15 and texting my heart out.


message 19: by Cassie (new)

Cassie McCown (cassie629) | 713 comments I don't really care if an author leaves out a comma here and there or whatever. What bothers me is when there are so many spelling and grammatical mistakes that I can't follow the story. If they are that big of a distraction, they need to be called out. If there are just a few, then I may mention, "Well, there are a few technical mistakes but nothing that takes away from the reading."

If someone sends me a manuscript to proof, then I am going to be more critical. My corrections are just suggestions, however, so if they don't want to change it, that's up to them. I always find things that NEED to be changed though. It really can't be that difficult to find someone who can SLOWLY look over your work and just clean it up a bit for you, can it??

If books start looking like texts and Facebook posts...(OMG, I have a cousin that does not spell anything correctly b/c apparently it is cool(?) & I seriously can't even read her FB posts anymore!)...then I will probably have to stop reading.


message 20: by J.A. (last edited Jul 08, 2011 01:12AM) (new)

J.A. Clement (jaclement) | 1328 comments As an author I would like to be correct (and indeed corrected!) but only insofar as it doesn't mess up the flow of the text. It does depend a little on the "voice" I'm using, but mostly I'd like to be correct. Although like me, many people of my age were not taught grammar at school beyond verb / noun / adverb (and in posh schools, prepositions as well!) and today's use of punctuation and grammar is much more fluid that it was once upon a time, that does not mean that it is irrelevant.

Apart from anything else, if I want readers who actually know what a predicate is to be able to lose themselves in the text, it needs to be either correct or at least not so incorrect so often that it gets in the way.

That's why (or perhaps should I say that is the reason for which) I have editors!! Because as you've probably noticed, I write the longest sentences in creation, littered with commas and semicolons where there most probably shouldn't be semicolons, and far too many repeated words that I have completely failed to notice....!

So I will merely say: Mrs Dalloway - nooooooooooooooo!
And textspeke - noooooooooooooooo!


Actually if you wrote Mrs D in textspeke it would probably be a lot less painful to read...but I had to study it for A-Levels so have never quite recovered from that.

JAC


message 21: by M Todd (new)

M Todd Gallowglas (mgallowglas) Greetings all. I'm new to the group, and I had to jump in because I am kind of a grammar nut. I love the mutability of the English language and how the simple reordering of words can have subtle or drastic changes in the meaning of what a writer is attempting to convey. I've gone read through the previous posts, and so I'd like to add my $.02 in.

William Strunk, in his book The Elements of Style, said, “It is an old observation that the best writers sometimes ignore the rules of rhetoric… Unless he is certain of doing well the writer will probably do best to follow the rules.”

During my time in the Creative Writing program at San Francisco State University, I was astounded how many of my fellow students had a really poor grasp of basic grammar. I stopped bringing this to people’s attention fairly quickly, because I grew really tired of the canned response, “I’m a creative writer. Rules are only going to stunt my creativity.” This isn’t verbatim, but you get the idea. The biggest problem with this wasn’t that they were breaking the rules, but rather, that they didn’t know why.

I lied. I am going to talk about grammar a little bit. Fragment: a group of words that really, really, really wants to be a sentence but lacks either a 1) a subject or 2) a verb. Fragments technically break the rules of good grammar. Wanna know a secret? I love them. Adore them. Can’t get enough of them. Use them in my fiction, but sparingly. Why only sparingly, if I l;ove them so much? Well, because if I used them too much, they’d lose their power and effectiveness in my storytelling. By understanding what fragments are, and that they are not grammatically correct writing, I don’t unwittingly fill my prose with them. Doing so risks losing my reader in a jumble of confused images and half-thoughts.

I’m not the only writer to do use this “rule breaking technique.” I think the very first writer I recognized as using fragmentation to great effect was Rodger Zelazny in his “Chronicles of Amber” series. The nobles of the House of Amber could traverse the multiverse by stepping from one reality to the next. Zelazny would indicate rapid shifts between universes through a kind of fragmented poetry. He would list a series of related images as fragments that the characters would see as they traveled. Reading it was jarring and exhilarating all at the same time. Just as Zelazny wanted. I wish I still had a copy of one of my “Amber” books lying around to use as an example, but I don’t. You’re going to have to go out and get them and experience the brilliance of the series yourself, starting with Nine Princes in Amber.

Now, C.S. Splitter mentioned Jim Butcher's "The Dresdon Files." These have to be some of my all time favorite books, and yes, there are quites a few variations of what we would expect of real grammar. However, if you look deeper into Butcher's writing, it's easy to see, he understands the functionality of grammar and how/when he can get away with breaking the rules. If he didn't, then the books would be confusing and unreadable, and most likely wouldn't have been published in the first place. Also, the conversational, moving-away-from-traditional-sentence-structure tone Butcher uses actually increases as the series goes on. The first couple of bools STORM FRONT and FOOL MOON particularly are much more rigid in sentence structure. So, Butcher didn't start out this way, he either developed it after earning some "street cred" and really taking the time over the course of several books to understand and develop Harry's "voice."

Remember: “Unless he is certain of doing well the writer will probably do best to follow the rules.” Good enough for Mr. Strunk and Mr. E.B. White. Also, many editors and publishers recommend reading ELEMENTS OF STYLE before submitting anything anywhere (that might be an exaggeration, but not by much.) And for those of use who want to make a living as writers, why hurt our chances.

*end rant*


message 22: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments Hey M.! Thanks for joining into our discussion, it is a great one and you have added a lot of great points! Thanks for sharing with us!


message 23: by C.S. Splitter (new)

C.S. Splitter | 979 comments Hey, M., I had forgotten about Zelazny! That's another of my favorite series, especially the early books with Corwin.

There is a tipping where where you are trying to figure out whether an author understand what he/she is doing or whether they simply don't understand. If you figure out they re doing it on purpose, then you decide whether or not you like it. If you figure out they are doing it out of ignorance, you know you don't like it :).

I found Butcher's style to be different in his fantasy writing. You can tell he "could" be a different kind of writer if he so chose.

It's an interesting discussion.

Splitter


message 24: by Phil (new)

Phil Cantrill | 313 comments Scott wrote: "The use of commas is punctuation, not grammar.

That being said, anyone who thinks the British write more grammatically correct sentences than Americans has not read the continuous run-on that ..."


Right on, Scott! (Or, should that be "right on Scott")


message 25: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (kerylraist) | 89 comments It's funny, I didn't even notice any grammar issues in the Dresden Files because it's written perfectly for Harry's voice. I think back on it and I'm sure they're in there all over the place, but because it worked, I didn't see them as errors.

Usually when something is jumping out at me as wrong, it's because it's not working. I don't notice fragments when they're natural to speech. I do notice them when it looks like the author just forgot the verb, and so on and so forth.


message 26: by Phil (last edited Jul 08, 2011 04:59PM) (new)

Phil Cantrill | 313 comments Can I try to summarize these posts thus: Every budding writer should know at least the basic rules of grammar. If you don't know them, how can you effectively break them? (Or should that be, "break them effectively"?)


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Colleagues, this is an excellent discussion.

For my own work, I believe that narrative text should be grammatically correct 97% of the time. For the remaining 3% the choice is intentional for effect. You have to know what the rules are to know why not following them either supports or hinders your efforts.

In dialogue, the rules are determined by the tone of the speaker, their level of education, their mannerisms and their lifestyle. A character can speak exclusively in fragments or in run on sentences that go for pages without a break.

Having said all that, I still fight with proper punctuation around a quote where the the vocal tag is in the middle to create a pause or for emphasis.

Bob Cherny


message 28: by M Todd (new)

M Todd Gallowglas (mgallowglas) Robert, I will agree with you in basic principle of your 97/3% guideline, accept in the case where the work warrants deviation. "Flowers for Algernon," or however you spell the mouse's name, would not have been possible under such a strict formula. For those who have not read that award winning story, do. It is a perfect example of brilliant writing that at least half the story is made of grammatical and spelling errors, the author absolutely understood what he was doing and how he was doing it, because even with the errors, the sort is still comprehensibly.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

M. I agree. The author made a deliberate decision to write the narrative in character. I do not believe my rule would apply at all in this case. There is a world of difference between knowingly abusing the rules and having no clue what they are.

Bob


message 30: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments Here's a random question that really makes me wonder and it kind of makes me crazy to.
when writing the word okay....how do you write it? What is proper?
is it:
OK
O.K.
or okay
I personally use okay
and also what about the word alright?

I had an editor once tell me (no it wasn't Amy) that alright isn't a word it is two.... all right.
I personally like alright but I use all right because I am trying to follow the rules....

opinions anyone?


message 31: by Cambria (last edited Jul 09, 2011 05:16PM) (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments oh and personally, the writing of it like this:
OK it drives me crazy.


message 32: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (kerylraist) | 89 comments Okay and all right.

I'll forgive alright in dialog, because some people don't say it as two distinct words. Use it anywhere else, and I get annoyed.

To me OK is the abbreviation of Oklahoma. O.K. just looks off.


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

Cambria, I use okay. I only use it in dialogue, but I could see where M's example would use it in narrative.

OBTW... the correct spelling of the American southern dialect for the second person indefinite is "y'all". "Yawl" is a boat.

Bob


message 34: by Cassie (new)

Cassie McCown (cassie629) | 713 comments It drives me nuts when someone misspells y'all!! Especially if they are a southerner!! LOL


message 35: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Clement (jaclement) | 1328 comments Do you knnow, the OK question is something that's irritated me for years. I don't have a preference between OK or okay but O.K. is only correct if it's an acronym and if it is, I've never found anyone who could tell us what it stands for.

It may be one of those things like SOS which everyone thinks stands for Save Our Souls but actually was chosen as a mayday call (more correctly, "m'aider" from the French, since you ask!) because it was easily recognisable in Morse (dotdotdot dashdashdash dotdotdot).

Trivia hounds, anyone got the goss on OK?
JAC


message 36: by M Todd (new)

M Todd Gallowglas (mgallowglas) I believe that if you are writing prose, and want to be grammaticality correct, you should spell the word out, as in, "okay."


message 37: by M Todd (new)

M Todd Gallowglas (mgallowglas) So, my pet peeve in writing, which is not poor grammar, but just lazy writing is any sentence that begins, "There is..." which pretty much means, "There exists..."

Can we please exercise our brains and come up with a better way to structure our sentences people? #endrant.


message 38: by Katy (new)

Katy (katyas-69) | 603 comments Cassie wrote: "It drives me nuts when someone misspells y'all!! Especially if they are a southerner!! LOL"

Oh, no doubt! I live in Georgia and everyone down here spells it "ya'll". YA'LL???? That means "ya will", not "you all," which is SO obviously y'all!! *sigh* It makes me want to scream! I also go crazy when I see people use "busses" as the plural of "bus" - nooooo, it's "buses" - "busses" means "kisses"!

Oh, and also accept/except (*ahem* M. ... your post to Robert on 7/9? You wrote: "accept in the case" - should be "except in the case" Also, what are you trying to say in that last sentence? It ends thusly: "because even with the errors, the sort is still comprehensibly." ?? X-D *ahem*)

Watch - I'll probably have a stupid error in this post ... I'm not even gonna check, 'cause it'll serve me right if there is ... I can be such a grammar, spelling, usage snob! LOL


message 39: by M Todd (new)

M Todd Gallowglas (mgallowglas) Okay. Got me. I also have problems with quite and quiet. First published draft of my novel had a few of those I didn't, nor did my editors. I was rather embarrassed.


message 40: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (kerylraist) | 89 comments One of the things I did when I was proofing my book was go through with the find/replace function and look for all of the common homonymns. It was the easiest way I could find to make sure all my though, thought, through, quite, quiet, to, too, two, and so on and so forth, were correct.


message 41: by M Todd (new)

M Todd Gallowglas (mgallowglas) That's a good idea. I'm snatching that one.


message 42: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (kerylraist) | 89 comments You'd be amazed at how useful the find function is. Anything you know you need help with, you can go find. I have a hard time with commas and coordinating conjunctions, so I went through and checked every and, but, or, etc... to make sure they had commas if they needed them and didn't if they didn't. It took literally, three weeks, but by the end of it, not only was my punctuation better, but my writing was stronger because I realized how heavily I overused coordinating conjunctions.


message 43: by Phil (last edited Jul 10, 2011 04:53PM) (new)

Phil Cantrill | 313 comments J.A. wrote: "Do you knnow, the OK question is something that's irritated me for years. I don't have a preference between OK or okay but O.K. is only correct if it's an acronym and if it is, I've never found any..."

J.A., My edition of Shorter OED defines it as follows: "(orig. U.S. slang) abbrev. for "oll korrect" = "all correct", everything in order, all right ....

Interestingly they give the spelling as "O.K." What does Webster say?


message 44: by Cambria (last edited Jul 10, 2011 05:24PM) (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments Robert wrote: "Cambria, I use okay. I only use it in dialogue, but I could see where M's example would use it in narrative.

OBTW... the correct spelling of the American southern dialect for the second person ind..."


I use okay too! And yes, O.K. does look silly.
and did I spel Y'all as yawl somewhere?? LOL
I hope not. I do live in the south!! LOL
I did not know that Yawl was a boat


message 45: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
One thing that I would mention in here too is to always add the names of the characters in your book to your spellcheck library. You would be surprised how many times I have caught the names of the characters spelled incorrectly throughout a book especially if it is a very unique name. So if you see that one of your character's names is underlined, you may want to make sure you didn't miskey that name in...OOPS!!


message 46: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments Yeah this is a good one too. Happens to me all the time.


message 47: by Katy (new)

Katy (katyas-69) | 603 comments M. wrote: "Okay. Got me. I also have problems with quite and quiet. First published draft of my novel had a few of those I didn't, nor did my editors. I was rather embarrassed."

Sorry - I had to tease you. Next time if you need an editor, contact me - if I have time I'll help you.


message 48: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Clement (jaclement) | 1328 comments Amy, when I was at Uni I had a nightmare moment where after the end of an all-nighter just before an essay deadline I just lost the will to live and hit "Correct everything" until it went away. Then I thought I should prob skim the essay through one last time before printing it - and discovered I'd spellchecked the bibliography and all the names had been turned into words!!

It was about 5am, and I was sat there in the Uni computer room just crying with laughter at what it had changed them to, and about three of my mates had to come across and see if I was all right, thinking I'd had some sort of breakdown.

Thank goodness for the "Undo" key!! That's all I'm saying...

Oh, and the other thing is that if you do "Find and replace" make sure you hit the "whole words only" button. I changed a character's name from Mina to Susan or something and discovered the word "interminable" had been changed to "interSusanble" at one point!

JAC


message 49: by Katy (new)

Katy (katyas-69) | 603 comments @J.A. - you said: "Oh, and the other thing is that if you do "Find and replace" make sure you hit the "whole words only" button. I changed a character's name from Mina to Susan or something and discovered the word "interminable" had been changed to "interSusanble" at one point!"
'swhat you get for doing a find/replace all! I ALWAYS ALWAYS go one at a time, 'cause of this sort of thing! :-) That's hilarious, about the bibliography - I'm sure in the first few moments you were less than amused, though, eh? Heh.


message 50: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
JA - there is NOTHING wrong with switching words up in some cases, it makes sure the readers are REALLY paying attention! LOL


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