19 September 2006

Fiction snob

I've learned something about myself this weekend. After long thinking that grammar wasn't that important and reviling instructors who cracked down on me for little things like semi-colons...I was wrong. I'm no perfectionist but if you're going to publish something on paper that will linger indefinitely, you should at least try and master the basic rules of the English language.

Maybe someone noticed a recent increase in the pace books are turning over in my recently read side bar (probably not). I've been saving $$$ and borrowing books at the library. This is the first time in many years I've had both time and a library to do so. And I was suckered in. The library had a table full of books out by the front door with a cute little sign "Summer Picks!". I assumed this meant that someone in the library had read them and thought they were pretty good. Within the first chapter, I was looking at the book to see who in the world had published it...and couldn't find any information. This leads me to believe that it was a self-published deal which would clearly explain the inability of the author to write in proper English. In order to publish you should (at a minimum) have:
1. A story to tell.
2. A firm grasp of the difference between "your" and "you're".
3. Some idea of where the quotation marks go when several characters are engaged in dialogue.
4. The ability to write a coherent sentence.

The book I'm currently reading has 1, and sometimes 4. But it is entirely aggravating to read a book when I feel like I should bust out the red pen, mark it up and send it back for a re-write. It's too bad because the story's pretty good and it is set in the city I work in, so it is kinda funny to read about characters driving 110mph through the toll booth I pass through every day. I'm about halfway through and I will finish because if I can finish a book about WWII, I can certainly finish this one!

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