Thursday, July 23, 2015

My Bingley is showing!

~"I read this book a while back, but have been busy with writing/publishing my own book. However, I wanted to review this book - and here I find I have some time... and still remember the book.

I enjoyed how the author kept my interest over all the books. And kept track of all the characters.

The one complaint I would have... and I did try to find the author to point this out - spelling. For example the word aide is a noun, meaning an assistant/helper etc but it was repeatedly used as a verb - which should have been aid. (To help). There were a couple of others, but this misuse was the worst.

As for the story - I thought it was very cleverly done. I enjoyed it. At times it was 'page-turning' but at all times interesting.

Because of my annoyance over the spellchecker mistakes I am only giving it four stars - it could so easily have been 5 star."~

This was a review I received the other day over at smashwords on my 'Serpent and the Unicorn' complete edition, and I really got a kick out of it.  I really appreciate a thoughtful review, especially when it shows that perhaps the English language is not yet dead after all.  I am very glad to see there are a few people on the planet who know a thing or two about grammar (besides my sister).  Sadly, I am a self-taught grammarian and still have very much to learn upon the subject, so I appreciate all the help I can get; I was a biology major who would have happily taken a few English classes and skipped the Organic Chemistry and calculus, but that was not an option at the time, nor did they teach grammar in high school during my time there (and I'm sure it is even worse now), rather I spent an entire year studying nothing but direct objects and the rest of the time reading (and learning to hate) modern lit.

This is the part of the post where I start to sound like Mr. Bingley (Pride and Prejudice) bragging about his horrible letter writing abilities and then Mr. Darcy scolds him for being so proud of his haste.  I will admit outright that it drives me bananas to see the rapid decline of basic spelling and grammar abilities in the public at large, most especially on the internet.  Yes, I am a hypocrite, but mostly through ignorance (such as the above example).  I admit I am far more interested in 'the story' than I am in the grammatical perfection thereof, and my older works tend to become neglected once they are published and 'out of sight, out of mind.'  I am always trying to learn new things, to improve my craft, etc, but whatever I may pick up along the way, alas does not get applied to some of my older writing, mostly because I am far more interested in writing a new story than I am in revising an old one.

And I quite agree with this reviewer, my older books could certainly use a thorough going over (I began 'Serpent' nearly eight years ago and it was my first attempt at a real story).  I am currently going through 'Thus It Began,' mostly because I need to review my history for a new 'Shadow' book I'm working on, and some of my writing from that point is enough to make me cringe, and it is my own work!  I'm still enjoying the story but I am finding all sorts of little things to edit or improve.  The good news is that I think I have come a long way as a writer (this is not to say that I still do not have a very long way to go!).  The bad news is, I probably will never go back and rewrite the stories as they deserve.  I will try and revise them as time allows (fixing grammatical errors, etc.), but, at least to me, it is like going back and trying to prune a mature tree into a shape it never had.  When they redid the original Star Wars movies, I really didn't think they improved things by tampering with the original scenes, I vastly prefer the original versions, warts and all.  While my writing skills have improved in the years since I wrote those stories and I know they could benefit from a thorough rewriting, some part of me is reluctant to tamper with them.  I wrote them with the best that was in me at the time, and somehow they just wouldn't be the same.  This is not to say, that when I actually have the time to do it, they won't get a good editing, but it is not on the top of my project list at the moment.  

I will definitely fire my editor though…except I can't fire myself…that's the hateful thing about being a 'non-professional' writer: you actually have a life outside of writing.  And, if I have to choose between actually writing something new or fixing something old, I'm all about writing something new.  The older kids get neglected when the new baby comes along!  I really do appreciate constructive input and will add it to my authorial toolbox, but it may be awhile before my older books benefit from it.

No comments:

Post a Comment