Thursday, February 17, 2011

Listen to the Pros...

In many of the editor/agent/etc. sites and books, they say that little stylistic errors and such can get your manuscript rejected before they're even finished reading it.

At first glance, this seems harsh. There are probably lots of really good stories out there that just need good editing.

I do see the point though. This was recently driven home for me when I was reading a book I downloaded from Feedbooks.

The characters yelled, interjected, objected, muttered, whined, complained... I got to page four before I found the word "said".

On top of that, there were perspective shifts, paragraphing issues, and more.

... I was unable to continue. That's a rare thing for me. Most of the time I can cringe and move on for the sake of the story. Not this time, which is a shame, because it might be a good story.

I was reading "Self Editing for Fiction Writers" at the time, and that little example drove home a point about just how important paying attention to the details can be. (Yes, I knew that, but re-enforcing it can sometimes be a good thing.)

So, I quit reading that book (I'm not mentioning the name... I don't want to hurt someone's feelings...) and started reading "Mistborn" by Brandon Sanderson... wow, now there's some good writing...