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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm feeling the need to rant.

On one hand, we have all seen ebooks that are selling well, but have grammar and writing so deplorable, the opening pages read like an exercise you might give Grade Nine English students to practice corrections on.

On the other hand, we have encountered people over seventy, who view a few sentence fragments used sparingly for effect as "grammar errors," and read the colloquial expressions within characters' text messages as "spelling mistakes."

The latter will send an email asking why your books can't be error-free, since you have "spellcheck and computers."

I am not saying any of my work is perfect. I certainly haven't paid anywhere near enough to expect it to be.

I'd like to be responsive, but I never know if they're talking about genuine typos, the relaxed grammar rules I now abide, or if they expect dialog (freaking dialog!!!!) to be grammatically correct, or WHAT?? WHAT DO THEY WANT? CAN SOMEONE PLEASE RECEIVE ALL MY ANNOYING EMAILS ON MY BEHALF. Just the annoying ones. Kthnxbye.
 

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Okay, take a deep breath and ask yourself: what would Joe Lansdale do?

The reason I say that is because he writes in a 'natural talking style' and yet has won multiple awards and has a huge reader base. I'm one of his biggest fans. He's also incredibly vulgar and would have a few choice words to say to his detractors. I give you permission to say those things aloud to your computer screen, and then move on, doing what you do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@Victoria - I don't know that person, but I'm guessing he doesn't cave in to criticism. OHHHH to be a person who doesn't get bothered by such things! I already don't read reviews, because I care too much, but if they're going to email me now? Wah! <-- wearing tiny girl pants, not big girl pants, clearly.

@Jennifer - I'm one of "the olds" too. I say it with love and honor. We learned grammar in school! We breathed air before there was email!
 

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I'd rather get the email than the nasty review. I like to write in a "natural speaking" style, and yes, often things are a bit grammatically incorrect, but that is how I write, not because I'm ignorant, but because when I am writing from a character's pov, that is how that character is thinking in their head.
Many of my readers have told me they love my writing style because the dialogue is natural and real, even though it may not follow the rigid rules of grammar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I feel like there's probably a strong overlap between "People Pleasers" and "Authors." Just a hunch.  :)

Much of the challenge around being a self-published author, for me, is about finding a way to still care enough to push myself, but stop when it's harmful. Oh, and the writing.
 

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Dalya said:
@Jennifer - I'm one of "the olds" too. I say it with love and honor. We learned grammar in school! We breathed air before there was email!
The thing that's great about being one of the olds (I turn 60 next year) is that you've got absolutely nothing to lose. And if you don't go for it now, when will you have?

Although I'm glad we have email now. I do like that part.
 

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I figure if Nora Roberts can use sentence fractures and get away with it, then it's open season on sentence fragments.

And as far as legitimate typos go, I was reading Nora's very first published book not too long ago ("Irish Thoroughbred"), and spotted two legitimate typos.  That's with a publishing house editing, so I'm not going to worry about typos.  We're human.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update on my rant: I replied (it was a direct message), saying if there is a mistake it's entirely my mistake, because I do all my own stuff, and thanks for the feedback, I'll try harder, etc. Reader replied to say that in that case, I'm a one-lady superpubber and I'm the awesomest (I'm paraphrasing) and the person's opinion of me has shot up.

I'm not saying I want to be graded on some sort of self-pub curve and given the benefit of the doubt because it's a DIY job ... every kid in the race gets a ribbon ... but ... any sort of head pat is always welcome. ;D
 

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Dalya said:
CAN SOMEONE PLEASE RECEIVE ALL MY ANNOYING EMAILS ON MY BEHALF. Just the annoying ones. Kthnxbye.
Sure - hourly rates with a pain in the ass surcharge will apply ;)
 

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*pat pat pat* we love you!  :D
 

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Sounds like you got through it just fine, Dalya. Your post made me question what I'd do if/when this inevitable problem finds it's way into my inbox. I would probably thank the reader for taking the time to contact me about the problem. I'd say my editor and I were unaware of any errors in the book but would be pleased to look into it, if the reader could be specific about the location of the error they're referencing.

It's polite, sends a message that I care about their satisfaction, and gets me the info I need to know whether it's a real typo I can fix or a misunderstanding on the reader's part. If it turned out to be the latter, I'm not sure how I'd handle that. Being a little cowardly, I'd probably just thank them and not bother trying to explain their mistake. I can't stand making people mad at me.


 

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Dara England said:
It's polite, sends a message that I care about their satisfaction, and gets me the info I need to know whether it's a real typo I can fix or a misunderstanding on the reader's part. If it turned out to be the latter, I'm not sure how I'd handle that. Being a little cowardly, I'd probably just thank them and not bother trying to explain their mistake. I can't stand making people mad at me.
In all seriousness, that's your best bet. I've found over the years that most people don't want to be corrected. I'm a weirdo and would appreciate someone telling me I've got toilet paper stuck to my shoe, but I think ignorance is bliss in a lot of cases.

I still want my PITA surcharge, though :)
 

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Dalya said:
I feel like there's probably a strong overlap between "People Pleasers" and "Authors." Just a hunch. :)

Much of the challenge around being a self-published author, for me, is about finding a way to still care enough to push myself, but stop when it's harmful. Oh, and the writing.
Not to hijack your thread, but this is such a struggle for me.

As for the grammarian, I think you handled the situation correctly. I have a couple of fans who email me typos occasionally and I love them to death. You may have just scored yourself one of them. Bright side.<--Look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Arkali said:
Sure - hourly rates with a pain in the *ss surcharge will apply ;)
We just need a pre-cog to detect which ones I'll regret opening.

However, I think that, overall, I've made my peace with the grammar spectrum. Until recently, I was putting an s on the end of anyway, as though anyways were a real word! Hah! Dummy!

Back to writing tomorrow.

T.S. Welti said:
Not to hijack your thread, but this is such a struggle for me.

As for the grammarian, I think you handled the situation correctly. I have a couple of fans who email me typos occasionally and I love them to death. You may have just scored yourself one of them. Bright side.<--Look.
I definitely appreciate the ones that are specific. It's the vague ones that make you go hmmmm. What's funny is this resolved itself after my original post, so now I feel bad talking smack about this sweet person. :) :)
 

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Honestly, that just shows that you've got good people skills.  It could have probably easily gone either way, ya know?
 

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Dalya said:
On the other hand, we have encountered people over seventy, who view a few sentence fragments used sparingly for effect as "grammar errors,"
LOL, I've gotten complaints from homeschooled teenagers about the grammar errors -- my occasional sentence fragments used for effect, which is a completely valid technique, particularly when you're writing in Deep POV or in 1st person. But apparently since it wouldn't pass muster on a English class assignment, I must have grammar errors.
 
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