Yes, I've changed the appearance of the site again. The quill pen was becoming a little too prevalent and the coloured bubbles (theme) was too "this is not my image!"
I decided to go for something all white and professional and then thought, fuck it. I've been doing the dark background sites since I taught myself HTML back in the age of Internet Dinosaurs (Geocities, Delphi, anyone?). From fabulously defunct sites like Catnip Cantata (aren't you glad you missed that one!) to Inklings (with neo-pagan mystery plays!) to the Fantasy Island fan fic archive--ALL DARK.
So much for sleek and professional. This is me, baby. Grade nine all the way. And now you've got that song in your head and you're welcome!
A couple of NaNoWriMos ago I saw a link to Wattpad in the sponser area, so I went and joined up and forgot about it. Recently I went back, read some stuff, hated most of it (none of it was in previous Bad Writing Monday posts, I save my published ire for works authors have the gall to ask money for.) but thought it might be a place to test stuff.
What started as a "how does that even work?" from a short story on Amazon is turning into a story I rather like. Then I saw an anthology call from Less Than Three Press that looked sorta just a few steps sideways from Prince. Checking through my Kindle list, I found I've read - and more importantly, liked - several offerings from this publisher.
I mention that I liked what I read because I do like to check out small presses before deciding if my work might be a fit - only logical, yes? And one I checked out just before (insert December holiday of preference) was so utterly terrible, in a "this romance is totally unbelievable" and "this character is so inconsistent" way... (she's never taken a cruise before, but she knows and has participated in cruise swingers clubs....? She's never had sex with a woman before, except.. twice?) I know small presses by definition don't have lots of money to spend on staffing, but isn't editing more than just spell and grammar checks? Are my expectations too high?
But yes, this week, I'm working on my own words, girded with lots of ideas of what not to do.
FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS WRITTEN, WILL YOU PLEASE LEARN HOW TO USE THE GODDAMN FIRST PERSON POV.
That is all. And soon. Preferably yesterday.
My last few posts have been lectures on common typos, which are annoying. However, once in a while a typo, while still inducing laughter, can also inspire one to wonder....what if?
Ah the magical phrase that means a new inspiration! Or, not quite so positive, a plot distracting plot bunny. But either way a more positive reaction than usual.
The first was what looked like possibly an auto-correct of science fiction into silence fiction. At first, given the source of the typo (I will not name and shame, but it was a newsletter listing publishers with open submissions), I thought it was an actual genre (maybe très littéraire). But I really like the idea of a genre called Silence Fiction... someone should invent it.
Then the hysterically funny but astonishingly frequent rouge wolves that plague werewolf stories. I found myself imagining some sort of burlesque werewolf troupe... I want to write that. Keep an eye on my Wattpad account, I just may tackle that after Prince of the Stable as one of my twisted fairy/folk tales.
Have you come across a typo that made you smile and hmm, and ask, What if?
There is a growing trend of relying on spell check to proof read our work for us. Spell check is, however, not a proof reader and without using one, or re-reading our work word by word, some unintentionally hilarious errors get by.
For example, I was reading the first chapter offered as a sample to see if I would buy the book. It was a dark, grim story and the POV character's best mate was about to do graphic violence to a woman who'd tried to kill him. A great opener, gripping, horrific, tense....and totally spoiled when the author described the character as wearing a black vendetta around his neck. I cracked up laughing. I didn't buy the book. I didn't even finish the preview.
Spell check missed this because vendetta was spelled correctly. And in this case, the author lost a sale because of it. A friend of mine reported a professionally published steampunk work where the winches were consistently referred to as wenches. Which does present a unique engineering picture, but probably not one the author intended.
The takeaway for today is, spell check is nice but a proof reader is invaluable.
Anyone on Facebook knows there are tons of posts addressing the to/too/two and you're/your and there/their/they're issues. I haven't seen as much on the difference between discreet and discrete. I know Google would very likely point me to any number of posts on the subject, but it's one I wanted to touch on. I've been seeing both used wrong a lot more often lately, and it annoys me, especially when I see it in a professionally published work. If the pros can't get it right, what does that say about writers in general, for whom words are our primary tools?
Discrete means separate and different from each other. A sorting tray has discrete sections.
Discreet means unobtrusive, not likely to be seen or noticed. An affair must be conducted discreetly.
Writers are storytellers, but the stories need precision word choices, or we are failing to communicate.