- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- How to Write
Do You Do Your Own Editing?
Do you do your own proofreading and editing? I'll be the first to admit that editing is my Achilles heel. Believe me when I tell you, I've learned a lot since I started writing. When I started, I didn't know the difference between your and you're, then and than, their and they're. And as long as I'm being honest, I wouldn't let me edit your work if I paid you for the privilege. Grammar has just never been my thing.
Okay, okay, before we go any further, I'll let you know what inspired me to write this Hub. I got a comment on one of my previous Hubs, it was kinda snotty, and I erased it right away. I won't repeat it, but my grammar was attacked. I would have left it up, but it was by some gutless internet tough guy, probably sitting in his parent's basement, alone on yet another Saturday night. The kind of person who searches the internet for things to trash and only leaves a single letter as their name, because they don't have the stones to leave their name.
I've gotten off topic, sorry, I just needed to get that out. I know I need to work on my grammar; this is nothing new to me. I do get paid to write, what I don't get paid to do, is edit. That is why whatever God there is, invented editors. I've been reamed many times by editors because of the way I write. I compose the way I talk; it may not be the best from a grammatical stand point, but it's the way I do it, so nerts to you.
Again, I've gone of on a tangent and strayed from the topic. What I'm wondering is, is it the writers job to make sure the grammar and technical aspects of the piece are correct, or is it but their job to tell a story?
I once had a publisher tell me that writing was like making a chair, or something like that. He said that unless you were willing to take the time to perfect the art of carpentry, you had no business building furniture. Was he right? Do I have no business writing things for human consumption because I might not always know the correct place for a comma, or when to use a : or a ;. I don't think I should be banned from storytelling because I got D's in English class all throughout my school career. What if I have a learning disability? Should I be forced into a life of ditch-digging because of it, when I may be a brilliant storyteller, who misspelled words and jumbled sentences bring joy to millions of people?
I once go this review of one of my short stories.
"I loved the story, it delivered the action I was looking for and I loved it. There were grammar issues with the story and I found them a little distracting."
I'm not trying to say that grammar isn't important, I get it, it's important, but if you loved the story, is it really that important?
So, I took the long way around, but I guess what I'm wondering is, is grammar really that important? I'm sure I'm not the only person out there who doesn't know what a dangling participle (I doubt I spelled that right) is, but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying a good story.
I'm not advocating anarchy when it comes to editing, but is it really the end-all, be-all that some people think it to be? I'm willing to forgive a missed comma or misused word every once in awhile if the story is good. I once found a spelling mistake in a copy of Salem's Lot, but it didn't ruin the story for me. I didn't slam the book shut and write Stephen King an angry letter.
Again, I'm not advocating anarchy when it comes to grammar, I understand its importance, I'm just wondering if it's more important then the story the words are telling. I'm sure 99% will say it's absolutely paramount, and disagree with me, so let me know what you think. Or am I further ahead to just blame all of this on Twitter and the rise of texting.(Probably should have put a ? there)
I purposely didn't go back and edit any of this Hub, I wrote it once and then published it. I'm sure there are mistakes, and it may not even make sense at some point. I'm just trying to prove that it doesn’t have to be perfect to get my point across, although I may have failed or succeeded; only time will tell.
Since nobody gets paid to edit my Hub, and I do it myself, grammatical errors will probably pop-up again in further work. Hopefully they don't come and take me away in the middle of the night.
I've probably just insured that nobody will ever read naything I write from here on out, but this is something that really bothers me, and I need content so I can get approved by Google. And yes, I know naything is spelled wrong.
I have no idea what P.S stands for. Someone please enlighten me.