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The Partnership aka Bad Deacon by MysteryWriter

bunitch

URL: https://storiesonline.net/s/15927:190505
Title: The Partnership aka Bad Deacon

Last line (with error):
"Gee, and it was such a nice afternoon," I said out loud as I back from her drive.

Suggested change:
"Gee, and it was such a nice afternoon," I said out loud as I backed out of her driveway.

Comment: I would have scored you higher if the grammar/spelling was better. If you don't have an editor, please get one. If you do have an editor - fire them and get a new one - please - it's painful to read a good story messed up at random points.

Ernest Bywater

I wondered why this was posted here, and checked the story. The author has feedback, mail, and comments turned off - so there is no way to get a message to them. Not sure if a post here will reach them, either, but it should settle the poster's need to say something about it.

REP

@bunitch

This is the type of feedback that you should send directly to the Author. Unfortunately, this author does not have a message link. There is no guarantee that your comment will get to MysteryWriter via this route. Only a small percentage of the SOL Authors participate in the Forum.

Since MysteryWriter, blog sounds like a man, is one of SOL's authors who does not have a message link, it is understandable that you are frustrated. But despite that, the Forum is not the appropriate place to vent your anger.

I have read two of his stories also, and I also find it irritating that he apparently doesn't care to hear what others have to tell them about his failings as an author. He has good plots, but lousy writing skills. In his recent blog entry, he says:

I find the trolls who hand out the one votes are humorous. I don't know if I speak for everyone or not, but I don't really mind. Since they waste their time and energy and can never get either one back, we actually win.


Personally, I think they are trying to send him a message that he does not want to hear.

awnlee jawking

@bunitch

The errors are annoying - at one point there was a mega cut-and-paste problem so half a chapter was duplicated out of sync. I have given the story one star (worth reading) and would be happy to give it two (good story) if the worst errors were cleared up.

AJ

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
seanski1969

@bunitch

2 The Partnership aka Bad Deacon
This is a fast and dirty piece of fiction. It is filled with grammar and typographical errors. But it is how I do things so don't bother with it if you are searching for perfection. It is also the story of a disgraced excop who flees to his mother's home state after a pending charge is dropped. His new life revolves around his highly disfunctional family. It is also filled with his new friends and neighbors. Enjoy if you can if not you were warned.

It's in the descrition; he doesn't care!

Replies:   REP
REP

@seanski1969

First rate plot, fifth rate presentation.

As soon as I see his penname, I skip the story even thought the description is interesting. That is the end result of not caring about producing a well written story.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@REP

As soon as I see his penname, I skip the story even thought the description is interesting. That is the end result of not caring about producing a well written story.

I think it's a result of diverging priorities. You dislike his writing style and he doesn't care what you prefer. Think positive, it's an expression of freedom, yours as well as his.

Replies:   REP
KinkyWinks
Updated:

I like his stories, however most of the grammar Nazi types don't like my stories either. It's probably the way he talks every day. I know it is in my case. I don't change the way I talk when I speak to Doctors, Lawyers, Educators, or Joe Blow. It's not a case of being uneducated, there are many fields of knowledge that don't depend on speaking in someone's idea of proper English. Ain't nothing magic about being a writer, it's just that persons choice. Your story could have perfect grammar and a piss poor plot.

robberhands

@KinkyWinks

Your story could have perfect grammar and a piss poor plot.

Yeah, I read some of these, and also prefer piss poor spelling and grammar.

Capt. Zapp

@awnlee jawking

The errors are annoying - at one point there was a mega cut-and-paste problem so half a chapter was duplicated out of sync


I have found this in a few stories and the problem was NOT with the writer but a glitch in the submission engine. As far as I know, the only way to fix the posted chapter is to have the author re-submit it. Unfortunately, if the author does not an active method to communicate with him/her, there may not be a way to have it corrected.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Capt. Zapp

Unfortunately, if the author does not an active method to communicate with him/her, there may not be a way to have it corrected.


you can report the matter to the Webmaster and Lazeez can check the original submission file and reprocess if it was an error by the wizard and not in the file.

Wheezer

The purpose of language is to communicate. When we speak to each other face to face, not only do our ears hear the words, they also hear the inflections we give to those words. We hear the pauses between phrases and sentences. We filter the accents and can usually parse them into something we can understand. We see the body language we all unconsciously use to help convey our messages.
We have none of that with the written word.
Spelling, grammar and punctuation (at least reasonably accurate punctuation) are important and necessary if you want to get your message (story) across to the reader. Punctuation takes the place of those pauses and inflections we use in speaking. It does not have to be perfect, but it needs to be correct enough not to disrupt the reader's immersion in the story. Spelling words correctly and using the correct word or contraction instead of a homophone or homonym is what separates authors from hacks, imho.

robberhands

@Wheezer

...it needs to be correct enough not to disrupt the reader's immersion in the story.

It's just that 'enough' means a different margin for each of us.

awnlee jawking

@Wheezer

Spelling words correctly and using the correct word or contraction instead of a homophone or homonym is what separates authors from hacks, imho.


We'll have to disagree on that. IMO having a story worth telling is what principally separates authors from hacks.

AJ

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

I'm the last person to advocate the use of formal English in writing a story, because I prefer to use vernacular English. However, there are two major aspects of writing a good story:

1. The story - this is the plot, the characters, and how you develop them;

2. Telling the story - this is the correct use of the language to communicate the story to the reader so they understand it how you want it conveyed.

If either of these aspects isn't done right then you have crap, and not a story.

................

Within the English language there is a range of how you can use the language from the formally correct to the vernacular English. In all of the options there are also a range of grammar uses open to you, and a range of spelling options like contractions. However, there are basic rules that have to be complied with for the story to be conveyed in a sensible manner.

Today we have some subsets of the language that only make sense to a few, and most of them violate the majority of rules in order to stuff a short message into a limited space. None of the subsets are any good for telling a story. The shortcuts used in texting, Leet, and similar methods are not how you write or tell a story. Even people who use the text shortcuts don't speak that way all the time.

If the way a story is written uses bad grammar and spelling etc. then it is not conveying the message as intended, because the reader will not understand it the way it's intended. A classic example of punctuation usage is the old:

Help police, murder.

Help. Police. Murder.

Help, police murder.

The same words with different punctuation, and you have three totally different meanings to the words used.

The need for a mutual understanding of what things mean is why dictionaries and style manuals were created in the first place. It's why organisations have operating procedures, etc. This is all done to ensure everyone has the same basic meaning of what's being said when a particular word is used. Grammar is used to ensure the words are put together in the right context to convey the right meaning. There is a lot of room for how you do things within the outlines of the grammar rules, but totally ignoring them is a good way to ensure the message is not understood. Even when we have grammar and spelling variations between regions and countries and education systems, the meaning is still conveyed correctly due to the basic rules being the same.

Anyone who is happy and contented to ignore the grammar and spelling rules isn't trying to write a story, because they simply do not care about conveying the message properly.

typo edit

robberhands
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


Anyone who is happy and contented to ignore the grammar and spelling rules isn't trying to write a story, because they simply do not care about conveying the message properly.


Mistakes are not the same as the intent to ignore grammar or spelling. We're talking about hobby authors, who aren't paid for their time and effort. Even if an author ignores helpful attempts to help correcting his mistakes, it still doesn't mean it's his purpose to make mistakes. It just means he views the 'how' as less important than the 'what' he wants to convey, and isn't willing to spend more -unpaid- time on his story.

Edited to correct some embarrassing spelling mistakes

awnlee_jawking

@Ernest Bywater

The need for a mutual understanding of what things mean is why dictionaries and style manuals were created in the first place.


Not style manuals. Their purpose is to ensure that publications within an organisation have a common look and feel.

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

Even if an author ignores helpful attempts to help correcting his mistakes, it still doesn't mean it's his purpose to make mistakes. It just means he views the 'how' as less important than the 'what' he wants to convey, and isn't willing to spend more -unpayed- time on his story.


The reason for ignoring the rules isn't relevant - their clear decisions to ignore them and not correct errors means they don't care and aren't trying to tell the story properly. I spend most of my time researching for stories, writing stories, and editing stories (both mine and for others) with 105 works now listed on SoL - I'm lucky in that some people have paid me for e-pub copies in the last few years. I've been writing fiction stories for 17 years, and I don't get paid for what i post here at SoL, but I do my best to see my work is written properly and conveys the message properly.

To me, you either care enough about the story you write to make it as best as you can, or you don't care about it and are basically wasting time and effort on it if you refuse to fix significant errors.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

To me, you either care enough about the story you write to make it as best as you can, or you don't care about it and are basically wasting time and effort on it if you refuse to fix significant errors.

I don't disagree, and I try the same. I just view it as a personal decission on my part, not as an universal truth. I don't have, and don't want, the authority to decide what others like reading, or see as a 'proper' story.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
KinkyWinks

Ernest, maybe your "best as you can" and another persons is not even close. What the grammar guys with their years of study of the English language consider "best" and mine are worlds apart. Some of you seem to think that everyone who writes a story should have spent years learning. Fuck it, I just want to write a story. My story scores are all mid to high 7's and I haven't had an English class since 9th grade, and that was back when the world was still flat. You guys with your "gotta be perfect" have probably ran off a lot of good writers.

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

unpayed


I don't usually suggest corrections to forum posts, and I certainly make my fair share of mistakes in my own posts. But bearing in mind that English isn't your first language, would you want a reader to suggest 'unpaid' instead of 'unpayed'.

If not, apologies, and please forget I spoke.

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

would you want a reader to suggest 'unpaid' instead of 'unpayed'.

Certainly, I'll take your suggestion under consideration. That done, I'll hasten to correct my mistake.

Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

I don't have, and don't want, the authority to decide what others like reading, or see as a 'proper' story.


What is and isn't a story is one issue, but when someone has problems writing and isn't prepared to listen to people about the errors, then what they have is crap. Yes, it's their right to write crap, but they shouldn't try to sound smug about it, either.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@KinkyWinks

Fuck it, I just want to write a story.


No problems with that, but when someone points out a basic error and you get on your high horse and refuse to fix it because you'd rather have it look like crap than a story, then you cease to be a write.

BTW: I never said it had to be perfect, because once you leave formal English there's no way to say what is perfect and what isn't. However, if you fail to apply basic spelling and basic grammar, you aren't writing a story that's readable, your just throwing words on a page in a pile of crap.

I left school at the end of 4th Form (year 10 today) in 1970.

Also, it's been my experience that those who know more about the rules of English are those who learned it as a 2nd language because they had to study it with great care, unlike us native speakers.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
KinkyWinks

Just so you know, I have never refused to fix a punctuation error and I use the spell check in Libre Office, it might look like crap in your eyes but it ain't your crap so why worry about what others do or do not write or the amount of perfection they achieve. The person that was being picked on about his writing, MysteryWriter, writes some pretty good "Crap" and I'll start checking his scores against a few others just to make sure I'm not reading "Crap"

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Rambulator

To me everybody is overlooking the fact that most all his story's have had some kind disclaimer saying that he knows it is crap writing. I have heard all through some of the forum post that a writer writes for himself and nobody else.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@KinkyWinks

I like his stories, however most of the grammar Nazi types don't like my stories either. It's probably the way he talks every day. I know it is in my case. I don't change the way I talk when I speak to Doctors, Lawyers, Educators, or Joe Blow.

You're talking about the story voices (accents and speaking manner of characters and the narrator). You can vary that, but that has nothing to do with grammar and punctuation errors.

In this case, the author is using the site as a story dump. He writes the stories, and drops them on the site without caring what the end result looks like. Most authors want feedback and will change obvious errors, but not even passing a story through an editor means he's writing purely for themselves. He simply has no interest in getting better at his craft (I'm assuming).

Has anyone noticed whether his stories have improved over time (i.e. does he at least try to improve)?

REP

@robberhands

Think positive, it's an expression of freedom, yours as well as his.


I agree. I create my freedom from the frustration of reading poorly written stories by skipping his stories. He creates his freedom by not having a mail address that would allow his readers to tell him to get an editor.

Replies:   robberhands
REP
Updated:

@KinkyWinks

It is not only punctuation, spelling, and grammar. It is the words dropped out of his sentences and the extra word left in that don't fit. It improper word choices; I forget his but words like: there, their, and they're. It isn't about the way he normally talks to someone. It is the repeated passages, and I sincerely doubt he speaks four sentences to his friends in a conversation and then says the same four sentences again.

I don't know if he ever had an email address. If so, I suspect he got tired of his readers telling him about his errors and that he needed an editor. His answerer must have been to disable his email address so he wouldn't have to listen to people who were only trying to help him.

In his blog post, he was ridiculing the 1-bombers. What that means is, he was seeing 1-votes registering on his stories' histograms. The 1-votes do not show up on the histogram until they exceed 5% (or is it 10%) of the story's total number of votes. I suspect his histograms also show a high count of 2-votes and 3-votes.

If more than 5% of my story's voters were 1-bombing me, I would interpret that as me having a serious problem with my writing. For me, the bottom line is he is a poor writer and isn't interested in why he is getting so many low votes.

He description of his story 'Howe & Watson 3sum' and comments in other descriptions say it all:

Just another boring story from a boring writer. If you are expecting wild graphic sex or violence SKIP this. If you are offended by poor writing Skip this.

robberhands

@REP

I agree. I create my freedom from the frustration of reading poorly written stories by skipping his stories. He creates his freedom by not having a mail address that would allow his readers to tell him to get an editor.

Exactly.

KinkyWinks

I can't see it guys, the man writes good stories, gives them to us, and then you want to bitch about grammar. There are some stories on here that are absolute trash that seem to be written by kids in their early teens. I just don't read most of them. Most of those stories are very short so I skip stories of less than 100 in size. If I like a writer I go through his stories and sometimes read the less than a chapter type. I doubt that any of us have written a Best Seller because we don't have the ability. If we did, we would have done it instead of hanging out on a Free Story website and bitching about what we find on it.
MysteryWriter gave us his story, warned us that it contained poor grammar so the Nazis don't have to read it to find out. So he gave it to us and then we bitch about grammar after he warned us. No guys that is just wrong, and I wonder if it makes you feel like real important writers to point out the mistakes of others. Did he ask you for your advise? No, he told you that if grammar was your thing then read something else. Do it and leave the guy alone.

robberhands

@KinkyWinks

I can't see it guys, the man writes good stories, gives them to us, and then you want to bitch about grammar.

MysteryWriter ignores any bitching, and given what I've read here, he doesn't even offer an adress to direct the yammering his way.
You should do the same. Just ignore it.

P.S.: As a German I hate all those despicable Grammar Nazis even more than their usual victims.

KinkyWinks

No, I wont ignore it because in the past they have jumped on me and some of them had not even read my story. I can't understand what gives them the right to be the grammar police. Who the hell appointed them?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
docholladay

I think I prefer my method. If anything in any story hits me wrong. I close the story, regardless of who wrote it. If the writer left contact open I will try and tell them why I closed the story. Regardless I close the story and move on to the next one on my list. That list just keeps on growing for some reason.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP
Updated:

@docholladay


Regardless I close the story and move on to the next one on my list. That list just keeps on growing for some reason.


It probably keeps growing because some authors take pride in producing a well written story, while others don't. While I acknowledge that good grammar is not critical in telling a good story, it does make the story easier to read. Thus some of us just say 'to hell with this guy' when we have difficulty understanding what he is trying to convey.

Replies:   KinkyWinks
KinkyWinks

@REP

Ridiculing someone because you believe they have less ability than you is being a school ground bully. Do those people also ridicule cripple people for trying to walk or those with speech impediments for trying to talk? Lets say the guy with a speech problem is trying to tell you that he can't talk but still tries, do they poke sticks at him. Well if they do I say fuck them.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP

@KinkyWinks

I agree, however, you will have to clarify who is ridiculing whom.

It sounds like you think we are ridiculing MysteryWriter. Up to this point in the thread, posters have pointed out the problems they have with his writing skills. That is not ridiculing him. It has also been pointed out that MysteryWriter's comments in his story descriptions indicate that he knows about his weaknesses as a writer and he doesn't care. That is not ridiculing him either; those are his words.

Finally, a good writer takes pride in producing the best possible story. That includes going to the trouble of ensuring the story has as few grammatical and structural errors as possible; typically accomplished by using editors and proofreaders. MysteryWriter makes it a point to not expend the time and effort to improve the quality of his stories, and that is what makes him a poor writer.

KinkyWinks

Did the man tell us that the story has grammar problems? Yes he did. Did he not say that if you were the grammar Nazi type you might not want to read the story? Yes he did. Then someone reads it anyway and starts bitching about the grammar, and the fact that the guy told them up front did not seem to make a bit of difference.

If you are a real grammar freak and someone tells you the story has problems, what does that say about those who read it anyway?? Then they want to point a finger at him and belittle him because he does not want to bend to what they think is right. He done told them he don't give a shit, how much plainer does it have to be??

I read it, I liked it, and yes I saw some of the errors, but unlike some people, I was expecting to see them BECAUSE HE TOLD ME THEY WERE THERE before I read it. Any normal person should be able to understand that.

Replies:   seanski1969  Capt. Zapp
seanski1969

@KinkyWinks

:)

Capt. Zapp

@KinkyWinks

I read it, I liked it, and yes I saw some of the errors, but unlike some people, I was expecting to see them BECAUSE HE TOLD ME THEY WERE THERE before I read it. Any normal person should be able to understand that.


I agree with you. The people who complain remind me of the ones who buy a house in the approach/departure zones of an airport then complain about the noise.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

We're talking about hobby authors, who aren't paid for their time and effort. Even if an author ignores helpful attempts to help correcting his mistakes, it still doesn't mean it's his purpose to make mistakes.

As far as I know, we have NO Professional authors here (i.e. those who earn enough they don't need another source of income). In fact, only a few receive ANY income from our efforts, yet we manage to find editors, make corrections and accept helpful comments.

We aren't (Ernest, Switch and I) criticizing him for making honest mistakes, instead we're questioning how serious he is about his craft, whether he has any interest in improving at all, or whether he simply doesn't want to be bothered by readers (there are plenty of the latter, who still find editors to work with).

If it's a matter of limited time (to respond, or edit, or care), you'd think he'd put that in a blog, so readers would know to leave him alone!

Crumbly Writer

@KinkyWinks

Ernest, maybe your "best as you can" and another persons is not even close. What the grammar guys with their years of study of the English language consider "best" and mine are worlds apart. Some of you seem to think that everyone who writes a story should have spent years learning.

Hardly! I've only been studying grammar, composition and formatting for as long as I've been publishing here on SOL (since 2010). I only published late in 2012. Yet I've always struggled to improve as an author, and to make my books the very best they can be (within my limited abilities).

An author who's unwilling to improve should serve as a red flag to readers, as it means he simply doesn't care about his story (and by implication, if he doesn't, then neither should you).

robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

you'd think he'd put that in a blog, so readers would know to leave him alone!

And that's what he did. Again, read the previous posts before you jump in on a discussion.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

An author who's unwilling to improve should serve as a red flag to readers, as it means he simply doesn't care about his story (and by implication, if he doesn't, then neither should you).


I disagree. If he didn't care about his story, he wouldn't have bothered to waste time writing it in the first place. 525K's worth with a decent plot and interesting characters is not something that has been lightly undertaken.

AJ

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


If he didn't care about his story, he wouldn't have bothered to waste time writing it in the first place.


Nobody is saying he does not have a desire to write. He just has no desire to improve his writing. He wants to tell his stories, but he seems to be missing the desire to reach as wide an audience as possible. Those who either do not care about his poor writing skills, or do not recognize the mistakes when they read them are his readers and supporters. His attitude reminds me of a certain science fiction writer.

KinkyWinks

He does not have time to do what you call "Improve" because he is writing interesting stories for those of us who can read without being critical of missing words or spelling.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
KinkyWinks

@Crumbly Writer

An author who's unwilling to improve should serve as a red flag to readers, as it means he simply doesn't care about his story (and by implication, if he doesn't, then neither should you).

It means no such thing. He simply wants to write a story in his own way without being harassed by self appointed critics. Why should he comply to what you want over what he wants? Do you pay him? No you don't. Is it your story? No it is not. So don't worry about what someone else writes and take care of your own stories, when they are absolutely perfect maybe you will get a gold star next to your name.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

What is and isn't a story is one issue, but when someone has problems writing and isn't prepared to listen to people about the errors, then what they have is crap. Yes, it's their right to write crap, but they shouldn't try to sound smug about it, either.

My issue isn't with the story's themselves, but it's more a 'red flag' issue for me, signally someone who's only writing to amuse himself, rather than writing to perfect his craft. Those of us trying to earn a reputation want readers to think of our names as our 'brand', and thus we ensure they're as professional as we can make them. Someone who doesn't give a fig what anyone thinks has no incentive to get better, because they simply don't care whether anyone reads their stories or not.

I wonder whether he obsesses over scores as much as the rest of us do?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Also, it's been my experience that those who know more about the rules of English are those who learned it as a 2nd language because they had to study it with great care, unlike us native speakers.

I was always well-read, and thus could generally recognize what 'seemed right' and what wasn't, but they changed the way they taught English when I was mid-way through middle school. I was so lost when they finished, I couldn't figure out what was what. I've learned more about writing since I started than I had in the 50 years previously.

It's a matter of professional pride. None of us earn much (if anything), but we take pride in our work. If someone can tell us how to better our efforts, we will (even if we often question what some Joe-off-the-street suggests).

Each of us has our own writing story, and we're not about to force others to adopt our particular styles, approach or write the same stories we do, but I admire those who try to better themselves, and appreciate the strides they make. That's the great thing about the Forum, so a bunch of know-nothings can compare notes, and figure out what we never learned in English Lit.

Crumbly Writer

@KinkyWinks

Just so you know, I have never refused to fix a punctuation error and I use the spell check in Libre Office

I never doubted it. You're here seeking advice, like the rest of us. You don't always accept what the rest of us feel on any given topic, but you'll at least hear us out and consider alternate opinions.

Authors grown by breaking rules, but if you just write as you always have, you're unlikely to do anything differently. IMHO.

Replies:   KinkyWinks
Crumbly Writer

@Rambulator

I have heard all through some of the forum post that a writer writes for himself and nobody else.

Again, writers write what motivates them, but what some playbook tells them to. It's not a question of what he writes, but whether he believes in his writing and takes any pride in it. Like I said, it's a 'red-flag' issue. If an author doesn't care about his own story, I assume I should care about it either.

I won't criticize any author for his choice of genre, story, topic, characters, style or voice. But if he writes the same thing, over and over, with little regard for what works and what doesn't, it boils down to mental masturbation. No one really wants to watch some old guy masturbating in public!

Writing is personal for us because we form a personal relationship with our readers, even if we never talk. They like our stories because they enjoy the types of stories that we do, they trust us to continue with the things we've done in the past (consistent styles), and hopefully we'll build our readerships over time. Readers learn to trust us because we take such pride in our work, and it shows.

If you enjoy his stories, I don't object. Heck, I used to always download stories and edit them (correcting typos as I went) so they were easier to read. For me, it's more a question of confidence in an author.

KinkyWinks

@Crumbly Writer

I never doubted it. You're here seeking advice, like the rest of us. You don't always accept what the rest of us feel on any given topic, but you'll at least hear us out and consider alternate opinions


OK, lets draw a line. I think the guy writes good stories, and you think he should study the English language. Lets quit before we say a lot of stuff we might regret.

Crumbly Writer

@KinkyWinks

I can't see it guys, the man writes good stories, gives them to us, and then you want to bitch about grammar.

It isn't so much the grammar, since so few of us can agree on many style issues anyway (serial commas anyone?). But as many mentioned, he's posted the wrong chapter, and then NEVER corrected it. How are readers supposed to deal with a story missing entire chapters? No wonder he gets low scores. Readers will forgive honest mistakes, but if you keep making the same mistakes, with no interest in improving, they'll abandon you.

We all have things about our writing that we simply WON'T change. We also reach the point where we simply stop changing stories, preferring to invest in new stories rather than rehashing the older ones. We also have readers we'd rather not deal with. But ... it's not quite the same.

Crumbly Writer

@KinkyWinks

No, I wont ignore it because in the past they have jumped on me and some of them had not even read my story. I can't understand what gives them the right to be the grammar police. Who the hell appointed them?

The problem with the grammar police is that grammar issues aren't black and white. They fall into different styles, and authors frequently ignore certain rules for the sake of the story (like using punctuation to control the flow of the story, rather than following a set standard of where to place them).

Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

I think I prefer my method. If anything in any story hits me wrong. I close the story, regardless of who wrote it. If the writer left contact open I will try and tell them why I closed the story. Regardless I close the story and move on to the next one on my list. That list just keeps on growing for some reason.

That's part of the author/reader relationship, which can become very intimate, even if you never meet or communicate with each other. Readers think the author gets them and the author thinks readers appreciate his work and effort. You flaunt that trust at your own risk, as once the trust evaporates, so will readers' interest. :(

Crumbly Writer

@KinkyWinks

Ridiculing someone because you believe they have less ability than you is being a school ground bully.

No one here is ridiculing anyone for 'not being as good as us. In fact, we each try to assist anyone asking for advice. He hasn't asked for any advice, so I haven't offered anyone, but his refusal to care is more a matter of interest. I'll invest six months or more to make my stories better, while he can't even be bothered with posting the correct chapter.

But once again, we're at yet another impasse, as one side sees a lack of interest in advancing, while the others see a bunch of Grammar Nazis only intent in critiquing anyone who disagrees with them, meaning no one's listening to what the others are saying. Thus I'll quit wasting time on yet another thread. When people stop communicating, the discussion just turns into personal attacks for any perceived slight.

Crumbly Writer

@KinkyWinks

It means no such thing.

I said it's a "red flag". What about that statement are you missing? It means, it signals other things that I attribute to it, not things that are actually there. I'm making assumptions about his interests, because he's not saying anything about his own writing.

I generally avoid any story where the author can't write a decent description, or has so many errors I can figure out what the story is about. Those, again, are 'red flags' for me. Like a bull, I choose not to enter those particular arenas where I'm likely to get stabbed by my own dislikes.

Replies:   KinkyWinks
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

instead we're questioning how serious he is about his craft,


To me, like many other authors, the stories I write are my children I need to nurture, help to grow, improve, and care for. That means fixing errors and bad grammar etc. A total lack of interest in fixing errors shows they don't care about the story, it's done toss it out and forget it seems to be the attitude. If that's the attitude about fixing errors, you have to wonder how much care they put into the story in the first place.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I wonder whether he obsesses over scores as much as the rest of us do?


speak for yourself in that one, CW. I only ever look at the scores when doing so is relevant to a forum discussion.

awnlee jawking

@KinkyWinks

I think that's guesswork on your part but it's something I can understand.

For my SOL stories, finishing the first draft is approximately my halfway point in getting the story submission-ready. The second half of the work is boring: proofreading and editing. Sometimes there's a temptation to chuck out the first draft as is and skip the boring stuff. MW seems to use that approach and gets above-average scores. More power to his elbow!

(If my stories were aimed at a dead-tree publisher, first draft would be about a third of the work.)

AJ

KinkyWinks

@Crumbly Writer

No, this is what you said (("An author who's unwilling to improve should serve as a red flag to readers, as it means he simply doesn't care about his story (and by implication, if he doesn't, then neither should you")).
If he did not care he would not have written it. He simply does not want to be harassed by you Grammar Freaks and it is as simple as that.

Replies:   Wheezer  REP
Wheezer

@KinkyWinks

He simply does not want to be harassed by you Grammar Freaks

If, by grammar freak, you mean someone with a passing grade in elementary school English, then I accept that title. It seems to me that some of those who claim to not care about grammar, spelling, etc. are actually saying that they are not educated enough to know how to correct their work, and do not care that they are ignorant - in fact, are downright prideful & belligerent about it. This anti-education attitude is becoming prevalent in our society and is responsible for the "dumbing down" of this country. It does not look good for our future.

KinkyWinks

I'm glad you accept it, and I doubt that what I do at age 72 has very little to do with the "dumbing down" of this country. I personally don't have that many unintended errors in my stories. I do think that the content of some of the stories, like Shit mixed with sex, and things like that may have something to do with it but then not many people write those type stories.

Of course that's just my opinion. I did hear a joke once about smart pills being rabbit shit so maybe rolling in shit makes some people smarter, hard to say.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@KinkyWinks

We were discussing authors like Mystery Writer and others who belligerently declare their lack of skill with English is actually a lack of concern. Age has little to do with it, but if that shoe fits, wear it.

KinkyWinks

Thanks and if the shit fits, wear it.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@KinkyWinks

Thanks and if the shit fits, wear it.

I think you have me confused with another author. I do not write scat stories. I write stories about erotic enemas - a different thing entirely, and no scat involved..

REP

@KinkyWinks

If he did not care he would not have written it. He simply does not want to be harassed by you Grammar Freaks and it is as simple as that.


You are confusing the desire to create a story with the desire to produce a well written story. We all acknowledge that MW has the desire to create stories; no argument there.

What the majority of us are saying is, MW knows and has stated that he has problems with at least grammar. While he may make some effort to correct his grammatical errors, there are no visible indications that he is taking the steps necessary to create well written stories, which includes improving one's knowledge of grammar and how to write effectively and the use of editors and proofreaders to locate the errors he is missing.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer
Updated:

@REP


there are no visible indications that he is taking the steps necessary to create well written stories, which includes improving one's knowledge of grammar and how to write effectively and the use of editors and proofreaders to locate the errors he is missing.


A term currently popular is 'willful ignorance.'

Ignorance is not the same thing as stupidity, although sometimes the lines tend to blur. Ignorance is simply lack of knowledge. All of us can improve our knowledge on any subject, if we desire to improve. None of us are know-it-alls, despite accusations to the contrary by the willfully ignorant.

Willful ignorance is like the old joke about the difference between ignorance and apathy - "I don't know & I don't care." I'll gladly help anyone with anything I know, and help them find answers about the things I don't know,if they are willing to make the effort to learn. I have no tolerance for the willfully ignorant.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Wheezer

Agreed. :)

KinkyWinks

What you guys keep forgetting is, he did not ask for your help and he did indicate that it was not wanted. Now what is about that, that you refuse to understand? You just want somebody to belittle so you feel like an important author when your stories are no better than his. The grammar may be better, depending on if you are a grammar freak. Most of us just read the story, enjoy it or close it and forget it.

Wheezer, do erotic enemas produce shit? well there you go, you write shit stories.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer
Updated:

@KinkyWinks


Wheezer, do erotic enemas produce shit? well there you go, you write shit stories.


Resorting to person insults? (or at least attempting to) Have you exhausted reasonable debate and find yourself reduced to schoolyard taunts? I win...

BTW: You are rather vigorously defending Mystery Writer. Are you & he one & the same?

KinkyWinks

Nope, just remembering when you grammar freaks jumped me about my stories and most of you had not even read them. And the reason you jumped me was because I also said that I didn't give a shit what you thought about my grammar. I still don't and it ain't none of your business what I write or how I write it. You freaks just can't stand it that grammar is not important to those of us who just want to read the stories, and write our on without being preached to about how we write.

On the insults, I know you and your buddies can't believe it but to us non freaks, you have insulted us. Sort of like Muslims can't understand why the world does not want their religion.

Replies:   Wheezer  REP
Wheezer

@KinkyWinks

Sort of like Muslims can't understand why the world does not want their religion.


Christians have that exact same problem.

Ok we get it. You are semi-illiterate and proud of it, and you will defend other semi-illiterate writers to the death under the excuse that anyone with even a slightly better education or desire to better their writing is inferior and to be looked down on. Name-calling by labeling them freaks & Nazis is perfectly acceptable. Got it. So be it. Ignorance & apathy rules!

Replies:   KinkyWinks  robberhands
REP

@KinkyWinks

I checked, but KinkyWinks is not listed as an SOL Author. Do you post on this site, and if so, what is your penname?

It would make things a lot easier on all of us 'Grammar Nazis', so we could avoid providing feedback on your stories. Considering your attitude about improving your ability to write, we might even decide to lump you in with MW and not even open your stories and read them.

Replies:   KinkyWinks
KinkyWinks

@Wheezer

I don't know that I am semi-illiterate, I may be by your standards. I have never said that I consider you inferior and all I have asked is that you leave others alone and not fuck with them about the grammar in their stories the way you insist on doing. And you said that you accepted the title of grammar freak and now you say it is name calling. You need to make up your mind.

KinkyWinks

@REP

If it were just me that you guys criticize I would let it go as I did in the past. There is absolutely not one fucking reason to criticize people other than your own over grown ego. There is not one damned thing to be gained other than your self satisfaction. Conversations like this one probably run new members off so I tried to stop it earlier. I use the pen name Catman hope you enjoy the stories. If not that's fine too.

Replies:   REP
robberhands

@Wheezer

the excuse that anyone with even a slightly better education or desire to better their writing is inferior and to be looked down on. Name-calling by labeling them freaks & Nazis is perfectly acceptable.

Reversing an insult doesn't make it any less of an insult. Until now it was the proper grammar police crying foul. Turning it around means nothing else than 'the pot calling the kettle black'.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@robberhands

Turning it around means nothing else than 'the pot calling the kettle black'.


I've always considered myself more of a saute' pan than a pot or kettle, but you are otherwise correct. ;)

My patience has worn a bit thin with the anti-intellectual ranting, so I tend to get a bit snappy when that happens. :P

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Wheezer

In my opinion, this thread should never have been started. The actual argument is a non issue. MysteryWriter doesn't force anyone to read his stories. He also didn't ask or infect other writers to adopt his style. So what are we arguing about: the freedom of speech?

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer
Updated:

@robberhands


So what are we arguing about: the freedom of speech?


MW can do whatever the fuck he wants with his stories. The head-butting comes with pretending that ignorance and obstinacy is a good thing to be admired. Nobody suggests he be forced to accept help with his poor writing skills. We should try to remember that wrestling with a pig means that both parties are going to get covered in mud & pig shit, but the pig likes it.

Catman, aka Kinkywinks, is actually a pretty decent writer, and most of the complaints against MW do not apply to him at all. I've read & enjoyed his stories and have no complaints. He's just decided to defend MW as if it's something personal.

Replies:   robberhands  robberhands
robberhands

@Wheezer

We should try to remember that wrestling with a pig means that both parties are going to get covered in mud & pig shit, but the pig likes it.

I'm happy to see you've calmed down some.

REP

@KinkyWinks

I use the pen name Catman hope you enjoy the stories. If not that's fine too.

I'll check out a few before I decide to just ignore your stories like I do MW's.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@REP

I'll check out a few before I decide to just ignore your stories like I do MW's.

Catman is a decent writer and has nothing in common with MW's shortcomings - apart from a certain amount of pig-headed obstinance.

robberhands

@Wheezer

MW can do whatever the fuck he wants with his stories. The head-butting comes with pretending that ignorance and obstinacy is a good thing to be admired.

Where does he pretend that? MysteryWriter hasn't posted a single statement in this thread.

This is a fast and dirty piece of fiction. It is filled with grammar and typographical errors. But it is how I do things so don't bother with it if you are searching for perfection.

That's from his story synopsis and the bone of contention. Where do you find ignorance and obstinacy in these sentences?

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer
Updated:

@robberhands


Where do you find ignorance and obstinacy in these sentences?


In these six words: "This is how I do things..."

In my words you quoted, the first sentence and second sentence did not necessarily refer to the same individual, but included all writers with that attitude. I did not make that point perfectly clear. I assumed the period was enough to separate the thoughts.
The conversation also made references to other (unnamed) authors with a similar attitude toward their writing and readers. As is typical, this thread expanded and drifted quite a ways from the OP.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@Wheezer


In these six words: "This is how I do things..."


If you quote, quote correctly; "But it is how I do things". To any sensible reader this little difference in wording makes a world of difference in meaning. Since you changed it, I have to assume you are a sensible reader too.

That aside, to me it was nothing more than a fair warning for readers to abstain from his story if they dislike "grammar and typographical errors". An apt and necessary warning to include in his story synopsis. Yet, you see ignorance and obstinacy. Mayhaps it's what you want to see?

There was one sentence among all the posts in this thread that could be interpreted (if you don't mind rather wide interpretations) as 'admiring ignorance and obstinacy'. This one:


He does not have time to do what you call "Improve" because he is writing interesting stories for those of us who can read without being critical of missing words or spelling.


"Other (unnamed) authors with a similar attitude" never made an appearance. Nevertheless, you're right, these dubious creatures were referred to quite often. I wonder why that is.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@robberhands

I wonder why that is.


So that some people in this thread can nit-pick to death everything others say. Yes, MW gives fair warning. A warning I have heeded. I would not go near his stories if I was paid, just as I give fair warning in the description and codes on my own stories so that people who do not care for that particular fetish can avoid them. I just wish other authors with an equally poor grasp of grammar & spelling, or an equally poor attitude toward improving their work would also post clear warning that their story reads like it was written by a 4th grader who is barely getting passing grades. The story scoring system helps, but it doesn't tell why a story receives the scores it does. As has been shown in this thread, some readers blow right through spelling and grammar errors (and other errors)as if they are not there. Don't see them, don't care - doesn't matter, as long as the story content pushes all their buttons. That's fine. It bothers the fuck out of the rest of us. (or just some of us) It does not make us Grammar Nazis. I've read hundreds (thousands?) of such errors on SOL and have never sent a correction notice to an author. Most are random and easily overlooked. It's the 'fuck you' attitude of some authors that pisses me off. Well, fuck them...and the horse they rode in on...and their little dog too...if they have one.

Ernest Bywater

@Wheezer

It's the 'fuck you' attitude of some authors that pisses me off.


Which is a large part of my position on this, with the other part being the normal human wish to work to improve what you do. Mind you, I haven't yet jumped on an individual about their grammar, in fact, I think I'm one of the most vocal of people in the forum to talk about how the grammar differs between types of writing and educational systems - which is why I don't like being called a grammar Nazi by someone whose grammar I've never commented on.

Being an author requires some trade skills, and any decent tradesman works to improve their skills. And I'm like any decent tradesman in I don't like people butchering work in my trade.

Replies:   robberhands
awnlee jawking

@Wheezer

I would not go near his stories if I was paid


That's your right but you're missing out on some pretty good tales - they get good scores for a reason, and that's not because MW is an author who games the system.

Spelling and grammar are not the be-all and end-all of readability. Some authors have good spelling and grammar (or good proofreaders) and good story ideas but are very poor at turning them into interesting stories. As an editor I find those the most depressing because they'd need the most reworking to salvage.

AJ

Replies:   Wheezer  REP
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

Being an author requires some trade skills, and any decent tradesman works to improve their skills. And I'm like any decent tradesman in I don't like people butchering work in my trade.

I can easily agree with the statement of the first sentence, and also sympathise with the second. I'm sure I never called anyone a 'Grammar Nazi', but neither can I see any 'high horses" ridden by people with poor grammar and bad orthography. Maybe it's a matter of perspective.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Wheezer

@awnlee jawking

Spelling and grammar are not the be-all and end-all of readability.


No it's not, and I've enjoyed plenty of stories that have had a few errors in them. I've even found the occasional error in a print book. There is a tipping point though, where the story, no matter how good, becomes unreadable for me. There's a well-known and prolific scifi author on SOL that I just can't read another word of, despite getting through his first three books before giving up.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Wheezer

There's a well-known and prolific scifi author on SOL that I just can't read another word of, despite getting through his first three books before giving up.

That's funny, if we're thinking of the same author, I gave up on his story because of the repetitive plot structure he used. Sadly it's bad form to critique an other author's work here, but at least I'm sure, as high as the scores of his stories are, he can easily bear the loss of two readers.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  Wheezer
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

I'm sure I never called anyone a 'Grammar Nazi',


RH, you didn't call me a Grammar nazi, but another did in response to a post be me. Somewhere in all this a few people started lumping everyone's responses together while abusing people, at which point I stopped addressing individual responses and also ignored a lot of them.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

RH, you didn't call me a Grammar nazi, but another did in response to a post be me. Somewhere in all this a few people started lumping everyone's responses together while abusing people

That's all true, sadly so. I already said this thread should never have seen the light of the day.

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

he can easily bear the loss of two readers


Three ;)

AJ

REP

@awnlee jawking

Spelling and grammar are not the be-all and end-all of readability.


You are right it isn't. However, I read for the pleasure of it. When I'm in the middle of a scene and have to stop to figure out what the author is trying to say, that ruins the experience for me. After encountering repeated instances of poor readability like that, I say it is time to exit the story.

There is a fairly recent thread about things that ruin the reading experience and that was one on the things many of us complained about.

If it doesn't bother you, then enjoy his stories.

Wheezer

@robberhands

That's funny, if we're thinking of the same author, I gave up on his story because of the repetitive plot structure he used.

OK, I suppose there's at least two such authors on SOL. ;) Repetitive plot is not an issue with the author I was referring to.

JimWar

I've never read any of Mystery Writer's stories and frankly didn't remember seeing them. I guess that is because I go through and don't really pay attention to a story unless it scores a 7.50 or better and not many of his have. I can think of one good reason that Mystery Writer might have for putting that disclaimer in his story description and that is to "weed out discerning readers to improve his scores". I've noticed that the stories without that statement on average score considerably less than those with it. I assume that is because if I am warned off of the story being someone of moderately discerning grammatical taste I won't score it the 1 or 2 it deserves thus raising the overall score.

I also want to say that when I was writing online here way back when I had a myriad number of established writers and editors that emailed me because I was proofing and editing my own stories and advised me to turn out the best product possible as it reflected on the entire site as well as all of the posted authors. I still have those emails from my mentor JoeJ, from Jim7 and others and I respected them enough to go through the editing and proofreading steps necessary to produce a readable story.

In addition, the site has a list of "Good Submission Practices" which are not rules but suggested posting behavior that includes the following: "Make sure the text is clear and easy to read. Run your work through a spell checker and a grammar checker if you have it. Make sure that your paragraphs are reasonable, overly long paragraphs are hard to read, and poorly punctuated text could deliver the wrong meaning.

Better yet, send your text to one of the volunteer editors on the site for help, they'll proof read your text and help you where you need it."

Capt. Zapp

@JimWar

I also want to say that when I was writing online here way back when ...


I just finished reading your 'The Collapse' Universe and thoroughly enjoyed the stories. Going to read the 'PTP' stories as well. Is there any possibility you will grace us with new stories in the future?

Replies:   JimWar
JimWar

@Capt. Zapp

Just retired and have thought about it a lot. Not sure where I would start. Thinking about redoing Collapse and combining it all into one story and treating the timeline more conventionally. My original idea was to have Collapse 1 followed by Collapse 2 (ten years later) and then Collapse 3 would be 100 years after that. Didn't work as Collapse 3 would have required all new characters and I didn't have the time to invest in the story at that point. Still like the idea of the apocalypse story and with what is happening today with North Korea that scenario may not be fiction for too much longer. It's hell to me when the real world has become stranger than what I can think up to write.

awnlee jawking

@JimWar

I just read MW's latest chapter. I had to stop and rewind once because some dialogue didn't have quotes.

That's one less than the number of times I had to stop and rewind when reading the latest story chapter from one of SOL's highest rated authors - a section of dialogue went from alternating speaker A/speaker B paragraphs to what I think was a multi-paragraph pontification by speaker A, although there were no speaker attributions or dropped end quotes to confirm it.

MW writes in a highly vernacular style but generally I think it's pretty easy to read, and I don't think the story deserves the negative reactions it's getting from people who are basing their judgment on the description rather than the actual story contents.

AJ

Replies:   Wheezer  JimWar
Wheezer

@awnlee jawking

basing their judgment on the description rather than the actual story contents.

I don't recall much comment at all on the story itself, but plenty on the attitude of authors (MW included) who see no need to correct grammar, spelling, etc.

KinkyWinks

@KinkyWinks

I like his stories, however most of the grammar Nazi types don't like my stories either. It's probably the way he talks every day. I know it is in my case. I don't change the way I talk when I speak to Doctors, Lawyers, Educators, or Joe Blow. It's not a case of being uneducated, there are many fields of knowledge that don't depend on speaking in someone's idea of proper English. Ain't nothing magic about being a writer, it's just that persons choice. Your story could have perfect grammar and a piss poor plot.


I'm sticking with the first statement I made in this string.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@KinkyWinks

I'm sticking with the first statement I made in this string.

There's nothing wrong with the stories you write under the Catman pen name. Not even close to what some of us are complaining about.

JimWar

@awnlee jawking

I just read MW's latest chapter. I had to stop and rewind once because some dialogue didn't have quotes.

That's one less than the number of times I had to stop and rewind when reading the latest story chapter from one of SOL's highest rated authors - a section of dialogue went from alternating speaker A/speaker B paragraphs to what I think was a multi-paragraph pontification by speaker A, although there were no speaker attributions or dropped end quotes to confirm it.


Not sure if I copied that right but I have noticed the same and it does become confusing to me. According to a discussion I recently read somewhere within the forum there is some effort made to limit attributions when it is clear who is speaking. I agree with you that anything that makes me stop and read something twice to discover who said what should have been attributed and putting dialog between two different people in the same paragraph should be avoided. I have written to several writers on this when I found it in their stories and we ended up agreeing to disagree.

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Vlad_Inhaler
Updated:

@JimWar

Parts of "Abby" by Texrep (Finestories) are appalling in that respect.

Abby found Sam without difficulty. He took her into the cottage, where Mavis, ever pleased to see Abby made tea. Sam nodded his head wisely as Abby explained.

"I wondered why he questioned me so much about the farming here. Now it all falls into place."

"What do you think, Sam? I spoke to James and he said he would not get involved."

"Well we would be fools if we didn't explore any avenue that could give us a better income." He drank some tea before continuing.

"Let me get Roger in, see what he thinks." He went off to find his son. Mavis had listened carefully to what Abby had to say.

"Men! Always have to have a conference. It sounds like a great chance to me. But they will have to talk about it, look at it every way, and take so long that it will be months before they do anything." She was dying to ask Abby how she and James were getting along, but mindful of the talk that Sam had with her, she held her tongue. Sam had said nothing about the chat that he and Abby had. Preferring to let her think, like Mary, that any gossip now was likely to upset Abby.

Roger took little convincing. Even so he looked to his father for his agreement. "I like the idea, Abby. What should we do next?" Abby waved her hands defensively.

"Oh no. It's nothing to do with me. Mr. Brasher spoke to me about it and I am merely passing the message on." Roger didn't agree.

"You have to get involved, Abby. I like the idea, and I am happy to talk to the others. But we are all independent businesses. That's no good for your Mr. Brasher. He needs one point of contact. You are the obvious person." Abby shook her head again.

"But I know nothing about selling Beef, and I would imagine that Lamb, Pork and Chicken would also come into it. I don't know what prices should be charged, how the stuff is shipped, whether we have to go through a Wholesaler, what certificates are needed, nothing."


I don't know if this snippet is enough but I found myself having to apply special rules for Texrep's dialogue. The: He Said

"this is what I said"

is confusing as hell.

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