Wednesday, September 15, 2004



Cathy has set up a survey on the "lists" which is turning up some very interesting results. Well, at least they're interesting to us. (Grin). The question she's posing to people who are primarily in the e-publishing industry is. If you were given an offer by a major print publisher with an advance up to $20,000 and they were not going to substantially change the work, would you pull it from the e-publishing and go with the print house. Options were basically: 1) E-pubbed is the next, best thing in publication and I wouldn't leave no matter what; 2) E-pubbed is the quickest way to get into publication because there are more houses willing to take achance on a new writer, but if Berkely would take that chance, I'd be GONE; 3) E-pubs are the only way I'm going to get into print, becausewhat I write is too edgy. But if they would publish as is, without changing my wording to fit a "cookie-cutter" I would be GONE.
The answers are enlightening.

Now I'm about to get on my soapbox -- so you're entitled to agree or disagree. One of the biggest things that matters in any format (in my not so humble) opinion is quality. First, the writing should be compelling, but it should also be technically OK. The words used should be correct breath vs. breathe (He took my breath away. I could barely breathe.), spelling correct. Not too many run-on sentences. I know a lot of people think that stuff "doesn't matter" if the story is good -- but if you can't FOLLOW the sentence to figure out the story there's a problem, and if the spelling and vocabulary are so bad that you get pulled out of the story, I have an issue with that. Now I know there are plenty of stylistic things you can do with sentence fragments, special vocabulary, etc. One of the best uses of style I've seen was, I believe, One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest. In the beginning of the book the sentences were short, with a simple vocabulary. The thought processes were "simpler." By the end of the book the style was much "smoother." It was a very subtle way of showing the development of the narrator. And there are all kinds of wonderful works out there that use vernacular. (Lawsa Miz Scarlett, I don know nuthin' 'bout birthin' no babies. [and no, that's not an exact quote, but you get the idea.]) But it's important that the writer (and the editors working with them) make it clear and easy for the reader to follow. (Which is probably more than I've been able to do with this rant :D Then again, I don't have an editor for this post ;) )

Anyway, I'll climb down from my soapbox now. I know I'm FAR from the best writer around. I can forgive simple errors. (The bullet that evidently went through Watson's shoulder and ricocheted off a rock to come back through his leg.) But I have a problem with seriously sloppy workmanship... probably because I have to fight it so hard myself.

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