Writing with style.

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Whatever your actual writing technique is, it should always be presented with as much panache, verve and style as is possible. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to your work and most of all, you owe it to your readers.

As some of you may know, I have a real bugbear about bad writing, especially in terms of presentation. I’m sick to death of hacks who think it’s perfectly okay to present unreadable crap, filled with typos, no, or very little punctuation, and the delusion that when a publisher picks up their work, they will correct any mistakes. For God’s sake, it’s more than past time that such idiots woke up and smelled the coffee. There isn’t a decent publisher or agent alive who will read past the first paragraph of such rubbish, let alone do the writer’s job for them. Yes, some editing may be carried out, but they sure as hell won’t rewrite a work that’s riddled with errors.

What amazes me, is that when mistakes are pointed out to these egomaniacs, they’re absolutely outraged! Where are the plaudits for their “work?” Where’s the awe for their “masterpiece?” Why all this criticism? Why aren’t the plebs falling over themselves to sit at their feet and marvel at their “talent?”

I’ve just read a piece of work that is unreadable in terms of gross content and little or no punctuation, and as for the grammar – don’t get me started! The sad thing is, is that the writer considers it to be a work of genius and has literally stated this. Now don’t get me wrong I have an ego, just like everyone else, but the difference is that I’m also aware, thank God, of my limitations. I’m a good writer, with a vivid imagination. What I’m not, and never will be, is a literary giant. The best I can hope for is that one day I’ll be a popular writer, in that people will want to read my work. If and when that happens, I’ll do my damnedest to give them the best quality of book that I possibly can.

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5 Responses to “Writing with style.”

  1. Another brilliant post, Kate. I’ve actually been told that I’m mean for saying I won’t read past a bad beginning. I’m sorry, but I can tell from page one whether or not the author has a basic grasp of sentence structure. I’m not mean or snotty or pseudo-intellectual–I just have too many books on my reading list to waste time on something that is unreadable. Many readers feel the same way. I actually read an author’s statement on FB where they said most readers don’t notice punctuation and grammar. While there might be some who certainly don’t notice, why would an author want to alienate those readers who do value grammar? Okay, I’ll hop off my soap box now. Like you, I feel passionately about learning the basics of writing before attempting to sell a novel.

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    • What an extraordinary thing for that person to say and how patronising! It’s sheer rudeness, not to say lazy on their part. If they can’t be bothered to get things right, then why bother at all?

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  2. If you can’t get the basic grammar and punctuation right, you are not using the language properly, ergo you shouldn’t be writing. Get it right!

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