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Showing posts from March, 2015

Soap Box Rant

Recently I went on a bit of a soap box rant about the need for a strict edit to eradicate punctuation and grammar errors in our writing. I thought perhaps I should explain why. In the process of reviewing a novel I found myself getting increasingly frustrated by the lack of attention to detail. At first I thought the punctuation errors were meant to reflect the 16 year old narrator's writing style. But the inconsistency of the punctuation made me doubt this. Throughout the remainder of my reading I found myself making a mental editing mark against each and every punctuation error. And then I began to find other faults.  This phrase was repeated too often.  That description was over written.  And so forth. I'm certain I would not have put my teacher hat on so firmly if the inconsistent use of apostrophes had not jumped out at me and riled up the punctuation and editing pendant lurking just beneath the surface. I may be alone

Wood Blind

We writers spend so much time in the woods that our closeness to the bark, the woodsman and the axe can cause splinters to blind us to the simplest of errors. Writing is a craft which can be honed over time and it is hoped we will grow in knowledge to produce ever better work as we progress through the world of words, punctuation and grammar. It should not matter if our audience is young or old. The writer's only concern should be that the writing is worthy of our audience and we should strive to make it so every day. There are of course people who feel basics such as punctuation and grammar do not matter. I cannot easily forgive those who dismiss these conventions – perhaps it's because I've grown up in a world where my reading list is made up of superbly crafted writing: Toni Morrison George Eliot The Brontes Steinbeck Margaret Atwood Louis de Bernieres Christina Rossetti D H Lawrence Harper Lee George Orwell The lis

Author 2 Author - I

  Over the February half term Karine Hetherington and I found time in our hectic schedules to meet up at the Royal Festival Hall for coffee and a catch up.  The most important celebration of the morning was the recent publishing of her first novel, The Poet & The Hypotenuse . The last time we saw each other was about 3 years ago at one of Caroline Natzler 's courses when Karine was working on a short story version of The Poet & The Hypotenuse.  In fact, we worked together on a collection called Chasing the Hypotenuse . So in the 3 years since I last saw you the story has developed into a full blown book. Yes, it's been a long process because it's taken a long time. I've been working part-time. It's probably taken about 5 years. HOW IT ALL STARTED It started out as a short story about a young Russian emigre and her family in the 1930s. Then mushroomed eventually into a book which took a while becau