Let me start by explaining the title of this post (my tagline). (And I apologize for repeating these first six posts from “another blog host” … But they go back to 2013 and bear repeating. And I also need to get into the right head space to be back into blogging. Gotta switch brains. Transplant heads.)
When I started writing poetry back in high school, I believed from the bottom of my heart, that every word that came through my fingers onto the page — we used a thing called a “pen” and wrote on stuff called “paper” back then — was sacrosanct, from the gods, could not be altered without bringing onto oneself some strange curse that would alter our lives forever.
Some of us still believe that. (Me, for one, about my poetry until fairly recently.) We must throw that notion away right now! Not the idea of the Muse, but the idea that this Muse of ours funnels information to us with perfect grammar, spelling and syntax. Our ideas come from what we might call “Our Muse” but what is actually the concept side of our brain that can’t spell cat without referring to our on-board dictionary (which probably has quite a bit of faulty information in it).
That’s why editors (like I used to be in another life) were invented. We can hand an editor an early draft — I am trusting it would never be a first draft. Nobody would, like, ever do that, would they? No, of course not. Then Mr. or Ms. Editor will give us an estimate based on the amount of work that’s involved. The earlier the draft, the more work is involved in “fixing” it and the higher the cost will be to have it edited.
This editing cost can be as high as $5 a page just to fix the grammar, syntax and spelling, and nothing else. Multiply that by 300 pages and we’re looking at a $1500 charge and our book can still be as boring as tapioca without the sugar and vanilla.
Several more sweeps through our own manuscripts with both eyes open to catch these easy-to-remove errors would be saving ourselves a lot of money up front.
Future blog entries will be addressing such errors and as we move along, we will get deeper into writing good story, too. Our stories are usually excellent (if we’ve been avid readers throughout our lives and know what’s out there so we don’t repeat and repeat), but if our stories are hidden within the brambles of bad grammar and spellos and commas— Oh, don’t get me started on commas! That will be a whole entry on its own.