Have you got as far as writing it? Have you published it? If not, what’s stopping you?
One of my indie author clients is my husband, Jon. He tried to have his work proofread by other freelance editors but his visual impairment made working through the edits really difficult, so I received formal CIEP training to make sure I knew how to do it properly and took over the role. The rest is history…
He definitely had/has books in him. He’s prolific.
He has amazing skills in, amongst other things:
– story structure
But he would be the first person to admit that when it comes to the nitty-gritty of grammar, he does not always know his subjunctive from his dangling modifier. Not that it matters what these things are called. It doesn’t. And the vast majority of the time, he makes the correct call grammar-wise just by knowing what sounds right. We internalise these rules without always knowing them and, as long as you are a reader, there will be a lot that you know without having received a formal grammar education (which, if you went to school in the UK in the 1980s and 90s, is a very likely scenario.)
That being said, he does have grammar blind spots. Sat vs sitting used to be a common one, for example – though less so recently. Spoke Vs spoken (after the auxiliary ‘have’). And occasionally, issues with parallel structures.
Although Jon’s grammatical errors are now few and far between (as once something’s been flagged, he’ll generally get it right next time), he would never be confident enough to publish his books without the quality assurance of a proofread. It’s not worth the bad reviews to publish something below par. Reviewers are quick to point out where authors have made mistakes. Some reviewers assume that because the writer has positioned themselves as an author, they need to have mastered every skill involved from idea, to structure, to semi-colon usage. This is not necessarily the case. There are some wonderful storytellers who struggle with apostrophes. There are people who are a real whizz at spelling who struggle to be creative and would make a hash of describing a scene.
So, to the potential storytellers out there – write the thing. We want to read it. And, if you’re nervous about putting your work out into the world because you were not a hotshot at SPAG at school, don’t let that stop you. Write it. We can polish it up. Stories resonate. Say what you need to say.
#CherryEdits #BringingClarityToYourWriting #SpellingPunctuationAndGrammar