Great Expectations

The book started out pretty well. It met all of my expectations. It was a page turner.

However, about the middle of the book things started getting bogged down. Plot problems, character problems, difficulties with point of view. There were even errors in grammar and spelling.

I considered giving up on the book because the author just wasn’t delivering the goods. I was disappointed. I had spent about twelve hours reading the book so far, and was at the point where I would either have to cut my losses or keep reading in hopes that the author would be able to pull it all together in the end. 

Readers ask that authors deliver on our promises. 

Before buying a book, the back cover, reviews, advertising and friends’ recommendations help make for a somewhat informed decision on the part of the consumer. 

After the purchase, readers settle into that comfortable chair and expect to be wowed.

Whether you are a well-known writer with a huge following, or you have yet to publish your first book, we must all write something that is worthy of being read.

Style in Your Stocking

I was shocked to find a few glaring grammatical errors in a book I was reading this week.

This was not written by an inexperience author, either.

Which brings me to the point of this post:

Errors in spelling and grammar distract and annoy readers. Before publishing, authors need to read through their own manuscripts at least a half-dozen times, submit to Beta Readers, and then on to their editors.

Once that process is finished, and the final copy comes back, it’s wise to do a final read-thru because the process of formatting can itself produce errors that weren’t previously there.

The mistakes I found in the book I was reading were grammatical:  there (a location) interchanged with their (possessive); and your (possesive) was used instead of you’re (you are).

Want an easy and quick way to make sure you are using the correct words?

For decades now, authors have been referring to a small book, named The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. I got my copy years ago. It was the Fourth Edition, printed in the year 2000. This book has been around so long that I was able to pick mine up at our local Goodwill Store.

In it, I found the answer to the correct usage of the word myriad. This is one of the most misused words in the writer’s toolbox. (Many writers insert the word of following myriad (myriad of). This is not correct, although to my human ear I must admit it does sound right…

If you question any wording at all, it’s best to refer to this book, or any number of similar ones. 

Put it on your Christmas list.