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Great scenery - rough road...

Wheezer
Updated:

I noticed this story on the Rising Stars list:

https://storiesonline.net/s/15822/tales-from-mist-world

Tales From Mist World has some great storytelling, and I intend to read it through to the end, but I must say one thing: Reading this story like driving your family car through some beautiful scenery on a road full of potholes, speed bumps and washouts. You want to enjoy the view, but the condition of the road makes it difficult. I implore the author; PLEASE, please, please... get a proofreader, correct the hundreds of homonym/homophone mistakes and punctuation mistakes and omissions. Fix the occasional scrambled, completely fubar sentences, and repost a corrected version.

I doubt the author will do this as the story in it's current form is scoring in the mid-8's. It makes me wonder if those reading stories like this just don't care about the errors, or if their level of education just does not recognize them as errors.

sunkuwan

more people enjoy a great story with bad grammar than a bad story with great grammar.

Additionally, many are ok with bad grammar if the author is pumping out the chapters in a speedy manner. many speed-writing authors can sing a song about the time it takes to proofread themselves and changing the corrected draft from the beta readers. Some can write 2 or 3 chapters in the time it takes them to fix 1 chapter.

I stand with the opinion that I rather have a bad grammar story than no story at all from an author.
(Well, there IS a point when the grammar is so bad, that you can't read further)

Replies:   REP  Wheezer  awnlee jawking
REP

@sunkuwan

Some can write 2 or 3 chapters in the time it takes them to fix 1 chapter.


That is probably why it would take so long to fix 1 chapter. :)

Wheezer

@sunkuwan

I stand with the opinion that I rather have a bad grammar story than no story at all from an author.


Is it really asking too damn much to expect a little of both? A good story with minimal trashing of the English language? That's what editors and proofreaders are for. Even NY Times bestselling authors use them. IMHO, a great story written with garbage language skills and published without corrections (spell check is not a substitute for a good proofreader.) is no longer a great story.

BTW, I finished the story this morning. I liked the storytelling. Had the author made an effort to clean up the technical writing aspects of his story, I would give it a solid 9 vote. As it is, I will refrain from voting at all.

Replies:   robberhands
awnlee jawking

@sunkuwan

more people enjoy a great story with bad grammar than a bad story with great grammar.


That's why so many readers like MysteryWriter.

AJ

Replies:   Joe_Bondi_Beach
robberhands

@Wheezer

Had the author made an effort to clean up the technical writing aspects of his story, I would give it a solid 9 vote.

You still could give it a 9 vote. Grammar and spelling isn't worth more than a one point reduction of the score.

JohnBobMead

@robberhands

Grammar and spelling isn't worth more than a one point reduction of the score.


YMMV. That would depend upon just how execrably _bad_ the grammar and spelling _is_.

Replies:   robberhands
p0ps

the idear of writing a story is to pass an idear as long as it is understanable not much elce counts

robberhands
Updated:

@JohnBobMead


That would depend upon just how execrably _bad_ the grammar and spelling _is_.


How bad can it be if 1,378 readers scored the story 8.67?

doctor_wing_nut

@robberhands

Grammar and spelling isn't worth more than a one point reduction of the score.


So, using that logic, you would only deduct one point from a restaurant for lousy cooking? "Well, it was an interesting place, we got fast service, and all the ingredients were there, they just weren't cooked well." Or, how about a contractor that used good materials and worked quickly, but just didn't build a good house? Why do so many people let technical competence slide when considering how to score a story?

Words and ideas are the only tools an author has to make something. If they don't know how to use those tools, they aren't 'writers', they're just poor typists with some good ideas, and we do them no service at all by letting them slide on the technicalities.

I guess some people will settle for almost anything.

Crumbly Writer

@doctor_wing_nut

Why do so many people let technical competence slide when considering how to score a story?

Because SOL used to include "technical quality" as a separate vote, and it was never used properly. Since few readers feel qualified to vote to technically proper English, they'd vote the same number across the board, in all three categories, rendering the 'technical merits' votes utterly meaningless. Since everyone seemed to vote on 'how much they enjoyed the story', that's what they finally settled on.

However, since the score depends exclusively on what YOU thought of the story, if you couldn't finish the story, or it took you three times as long to finish, I'd definitely rate is lower, or even badly, simply because the author didn't care enough about the story to improve it.

In short, votes and ratings are purely objective, with no objective components. Some stories capture the imagination regardless of the quality of the story (either based on writing skills or storytelling skills), while many terrific stories never get much attention at all. You really can't put much weight in story scores.

Replies:   robberhands
awnlee jawking

@doctor_wing_nut

So, using that logic, you would only deduct one point from a restaurant for lousy cooking?


I think your analogy is the wrong way round. The food was excellent but the service, hygiene, ambience etc sucked. ;)

AJ

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@awnlee jawking

I think your analogy is the wrong way round. The food was excellent but the service, hygiene, ambience etc sucked. ;)


I prefer my original analogy. Reading a story is like going on a journey through interesting and beautiful countryside. With good writing, the reader can relax, enjoy the scenery, and reach the end of the trip feeling refreshed and enlightened with the new experience. With poor writing, that same trip is a trial of potholes, washouts in the road, and repeated delays by construction zones that divert your attention from why you took that scenic trip in the first place.

robberhands

@Wheezer

With poor writing, that same trip is a trial of potholes, washouts in the road, and repeated delays by construction zones that divert your attention from why you took that scenic trip in the first place.

Eventually you'll have to accept that different people have different priorities; not better or worse, just different.

Replies:   Wheezer  graybyrd
Wheezer
Updated:

@robberhands


Eventually you'll have to accept that different people have different priorities; not better or worse, just different.


I'm speaking only for myself. See elsewhere for articles and discussions on the 'dumbing down' of America.

In a country where Honey Boo-Boo, the Kardashians & the fake Duck-fuckers can become celebrities...where Joel Osteen can bilk millions of dollars from the gullible...where climate change is argued and people try to pray away hurricanes...oh, what's the use? The average citizen in this country is now dumber than a fucking rock and proud of it. I weep.

richardshagrin

Our management (likely Lazeez, but there may be others involved) will almost certainly allow you to be a reviewer. All you have to do is ask. I did, and he let me, so almost anyone can be one. (Barron of Ideas, please don't spell Barron with an e.) Then you get to chose scores for Plot, Technical, and overall Appeal. (If they don't wear overalls, you may have to fake the last score.) Management would prefer you not review stories you want to give low scores to, although lower scores for Technical are allowed if the general tone is favorable. If you don't like the story your review should be handled by emailing the author with suggestions. The point is we don't want to chase away anyone who is contributing stories others may like. Lets not make our Forum an Againstum.

red61544

I've given up on many stories because of atrocious spelling or grammar. I usually don't bother to rate them at all and I seldom start another story by the same author to see if he has improved. Conversely, when an author tells a good story and takes the time and effort to proofread it and correct his mistakes, I give it a great rating and let the author know how much I appreciate his efforts. Incorrect grammar and spelling doesn't bother some people; others are completely turned off by it. But it probably has little or no effect on scores. The greatest thing about this site is that we, the reader, can choose what to read and what to ignore.

Replies:   Wheezer  Crumbly Writer
Wheezer

@red61544

I really enjoyed the storytelling in this one, but nearly gave up several times over the spelling & grammar mistakes. If this author would acquire a good editor and proofreader, he could easily become one of my favorite authors. The story itself had all of my favorite elements. I would love to read further stories in this Universe, but only if he makes an attempt to get help to polish out the rough places.

robberhands

@Wheezer

The average citizen in this country is now dumber than a fucking rock and proud of it. I weep.

In that case relish that you're smarter than average but it's no reason to disregard the possibility that even equally smart people still might have different priorities.

sunkuwan

Even with an editor, you have to fix the chapter AND understand the fixes the editor is marking. This is all time that an author who is new to this whole thing doesn't want to invest, maybe.

Many of the veteran authors on SoL are 40+ probably. Many new authors are beginning in their teens. And the author from the mentioned story has only one-shots before the long story. If he has 30 stories and still issues, yes that would be bad, but it is his first. (though he talks about editors in his blog post)

Overdoing (bad) accents or bombarding the story with foreign language snippets is more of a turn-off for me. *Dude, it's okay, I understand now, that he/she is from the south, or he/she is from France. You don't need to bombard me with a mishmash of accents and foreign words in every sentence. (bad case of show, don't tell ;) )

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Some stories capture the imagination regardless of the quality of the story...

Think about that line and ask yourself what is the quality of a story?

Dominions Son

@Wheezer

Reading a story is like going on a journey through interesting and beautiful countryside.


If you are only traveling on the well paved and maintained roads and ignoring the half washed out gravel and dirt roads, the roads that are little more than two ruts through the woods, then you are missing the best and most beautiful views.

Crumbly Writer

@Wheezer

I prefer my original analogy. Reading a story is like going on a journey through interesting and beautiful countryside. With good writing, the reader can relax, enjoy the scenery, and reach the end of the trip feeling refreshed and enlightened with the new experience. With poor writing, that same trip is a trial of potholes, washouts in the road, and repeated delays by construction zones that divert your attention from why you took that scenic trip in the first place.

Sorry, but I agree with Awnlee. A boring story, written in perfect English, just ain't worth sitting through (which is why so few College Professors make a living writing fiction). However, a beautiful story will carry you through, despite the often rough patches you may encounter.

Yet, like in most situations, conditions are subject to individual tastes. If you're revolved by simple punctuation mistakes and typos, then you'd better stick to more formal (or better-written) tracts, rather than amateur stories details knowledge the authors accumulated over a lifetime (rather than what some kid learned by sitting in English Composition classes for a decade).

Crumbly Writer

@Wheezer

In a country where Honey Boo-Boo, the Kardashians & the fake Duck-fuckers can become celebrities...where Joel Osteen can bilk millions of dollars from the gullible...where climate change is argued and people try to pray away hurricanes...oh, what's the use? The average citizen in this country is now dumber than a fucking rock and proud of it. I weep.

In my case, I don't mind crude first attempts at writing if the novice author has something worthwhile to tell. However, I draw the line at someone who makes no attempt to perfect their skills, rejecting all suggestions or recommendations, as it's a sign that they simply don't care enough about their own story to put any work into making it better.

That's more a sign of professionalism. While I may appreciate a crude painting by a promising child, I expect more from a professional charging me serious money for a painting I'll hang over my mantelpiece.

Unfortunately, for many authors, their very first story is often their best, and everything else is just recycling the same ideas in different ways with more words.

Crumbly Writer

@red61544

Incorrect grammar and spelling doesn't bother some people; others are completely turned off by it. But it probably has little or no effect on scores.

We've noted before, a terrific story is easier to read through a rough telling, while a boring story is almost unbearable, no matter how well it's told. It's a slippery slope when you start judging technical merit.

I've observed with my own writing that I'll rarely get ANY corrections for my most exciting chapters, despite knowing there have GOT to be some outstanding issues, but the slower chapters will get flagged time and again. It's more about pacing than it is technical skill. If you're exciting, you'll read faster, skipping over anything between you and the exciting conclusion. In a slow, somewhat tedious section, you'll notice every flaw. It's like the analogy in the other thread: if you drive a rough dirt road at a moderate speed, it's almost unbearable as you experience the 'washboard effect'. But if you drive fast over the rough patches, the road smooths out. It's the same with reading.

Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

Many of the veteran authors on SoL are 40+ probably. Many new authors are beginning in their teens. And the author from the mentioned story has only one-shots before the long story. If he has 30 stories and still issues, yes that would be bad, but it is his first. (though he talks about editors in his blog post)

Often, readers will label style issues (serial commas, reversed single and double quotes, and dropping commas to improve the flow of the sentences) are seen as errors (not that I'm suggesting that's what you're doing).

In that case, what's often seen as 'errors' are conscious choices, which is why I REFUSE to blame my editors for any errors that someone reads in my story, since my editors often make suggestions which I choose not to follow, largely because we follow two separate imaginary style guides.

Overdoing (bad) accents or bombarding the story with foreign language snippets is more of a turn-off for me. *Dude, it's okay, I understand now, that he/she is from the south, or he/she is from France. You don't need to bombard me with a mishmash of accents and foreign words in every sentence.

I had a bad experience with that in my newest (just about to be published) book, Speaking With Your Demons. While I've worked foreign languages into my stories before, doing just what you describe, I had trouble with this book, because each different mythical alien race speaks with a slightly different vocal pattern, thus I'd try to reflects the dragons' lisp, the demons's bad grammar and the devil's tendency to curse. It took a lot of work, and a bunch of rewrites, to strip out the majority of those 'extras' while still keeping their speech patterns in readers' minds as the story unfolds.

It don't come naturally!

imsly1
Updated:

This story is like Beautiful Woman.. she might have pimples on her ass, warts on her thighs ...and a pound of ear wax in each ear, but you can't stop staring at her, nor can you Quit licking her toes .. Great plot..

If it was proof read, & Edited to book quality, it'd surely have a 12.5 rating

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@imsly1

If it was proof read, & Edited to book quality, it'd surely have a 12.5 rating


Exactly my point. I've been a paying member of SOL for a very long time, and have read stories that vary from NYT best seller quality to absolutely unreadable dreck. For Pete's sake, if you have a great story to tell, have the pride of ownership to give the final product a bit of effort to clean up the rough edges. Nobody expects perfection, but showing a little pride in one's work is a good thing.
For some authors on this site (and other sites)I can't tell if it's ignorance, apathy or arrogance that causes them to put out this type of story.

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP
Dominions Son

@Wheezer

and have read stories that vary from NYT best seller quality to absolutely unreadable dreck.


Personally, I consider a lot of what's on the NYT best seller list to be unreadable dreck.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@Dominions Son

Personally, I consider a lot of what's on the NYT best seller list to be unreadable dreck.

As do I. I thought about saying 'Pulitzer worthy,' but that just sounded pretentious. ;) I think you understand what I meant though.

Replies:   Dominions Son
graybyrd

@robberhands

Eventually you'll have to accept that different people have different priorities; not better or worse, just different.


Well, fugue... it panes me to thank that tyme I'd spent swettin on writin rite 'n edit stuff for wrung stuf was a waist. Damm am I good to here its better ok to writ it and doan swet the smell shit.
Thanks for it.

Replies:   robberhands
Dominions Son

@Wheezer

I think you understand what I meant though.


I know what you meant, I just don't particularly agree with you. The grammar and spelling would have to get really bad before it would put me off a good story, and perfect grammar and spelling does nothing for a bad or even a mediocre story.

Replies:   Wheezer
robberhands

@graybyrd

Well, fugue... it panes me to thank that tyme I'd spent swettin on writin rite 'n edit stuff for wrung stuf was a waist. Damm am I good to here its better ok to writ it and doan swet the smell shit.
Thanks for it.

No one asked you to change your priorities.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@robberhands

No one asked you to change your priorities.


Hail no, i be gratfullin' you. Smuch time to safe not swettin' dat smell shit. Agin thankful yes?

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@graybyrd

Hail no, i be gratfullin' you. Smuch time to safe not swettin' dat smell shit. Agin thankful yes?

Certainly; although you might notice some readers will become quite annoying, endlessly complaining about your new, more relaxed style of writing.

Wheezer

@Dominions Son

perfect grammar and spelling does nothing for a bad or even a mediocre story.

I agree completely, But bad spelling and grammar can ruin an otherwise good story for those of us with enough education to recognize the mistakes. (BTW: I do not have a college degree, so that's not a requirement.)
Nowhere have I suggested, demanded or even implied that spelling & grammar needs to be perfect. It's not unreasonable to suggest that there is a middle ground between a good story written badly and a bad story written well.

robberhands

@Wheezer

It's not unreasonable to suggest that there is a middle ground between a good story written badly and a bad story written well.

That middle ground sounds like a mediocre story all around - not very exciting.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@robberhands

That middle ground sounds like a mediocre story all around - not very exciting.


Is there anything you will not argue about? How the fuck does a good story written badly become somehow better than a good story written reasonably well? A bad story is bad, no matter how it is written.

robberhands
Updated:

@Wheezer

Is there anything you will not argue about? How the fuck does a good story written badly become somehow better than a good story written reasonably well?

There! I won't argue this point at all. I also prefer a good story to be well written, with as few mistakes as possible. However, if all I can get from an author is a good story with numerous mistakes, I take it too and don't complain about it. I mentioned priorities and priorities are no wishlist.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@Wheezer

Is there anything you will not argue about?


No.

Yes.

No.

Yes. :)

Replies:   madnige
REP

@Wheezer

For some authors on this site (and other sites)I can't tell if it's ignorance, apathy or arrogance that causes them to put out this type of story.


Perhaps ego, laziness, and a 'Don't tell me what to do, I'm the Author' attitude.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@REP

...ego, laziness, and a 'Don't tell me what to do, I'm the Author' attitude.


Submitting a story here on SoL is one thing. If an author does only that, you have no grounds to assume anything about his attitude. The moment an author allows scoring and comments, he opens up to critique, which comes in every form, from positive and constructive to pointless and flat out offensive. I wouldn't think a significant number of authors would do so if their mindset would resemble anything like 'ego, laziness, and a 'Don't tell me what to do, I'm the Author attitude'.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP

@robberhands

I wouldn't think a significant number of authors would do


Most authors expect positive feedback, even if it is a simple thank you, and they generally don't get enough of that type of feedback.

However, there are also a few authors who want the positive feedback to boost their egos; hopefully they are in the minority. They find readers sending them less than stellar remarks and corrections to be negative feedback. They can't tolerate the idea they and their stories are average.

I know I am an average writer and my stories are average. I work to improve, but I am not upset by being average for I attain my goal by creating the stories. If the readers I share my stories with don't like them, then they don't have to read them. If they like the stories, then I am more than happy to share my future stories with those who like to read what I write.

robberhands
Updated:

@REP

I know I am an average writer and my stories are average. I work to improve, but I am not upset by being average for I attain my goal by creating the stories.

You describe your own attitude as most reasonable, even humble, but 'most authors expect positive feedback' and a few even 'can't tolerate the idea they and their stories are average'. That may be so. I can't refute any of your assumptions, since personally I've no such particular insight into another author's mindset.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@Wheezer

I agree completely, But bad spelling and grammar can ruin an otherwise good story for those of us with enough education to recognize the mistakes. (BTW: I do not have a college degree, so that's not a requirement.)

Good readers don't require advanced degrees, and even those who never graduated middle school can educate themselves by reading widely (not just select books). I don't think anyone here thought a college education was required for have a voice. Nowadays, an advanced degree is good for nothing more than your next job. :(

Replies:   JohnBobMead
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

There! I won't argue this point at all. I also prefer a good story to be well written, with as few mistakes as possible. However, if all I can get from an author is a good story with numerous mistakes, I take it too and don't complain about it. I mentioned priorities and priorities are no wishlist.

Your particular level of persnicketiness aside, not only do frequent mistakes make it clear the author doesn't take pride in their work, in strongly hints that they're Not learning, and thus their stories are unlikely to ever get better.

If you learn from each mistake, modifying your approach and trying to improve, it speaks volumes. Those that simply tell the same story, over and over, simply switching a few names and descriptions, go nowhere. Whereas those who come up with unique plots with each story, struggling to tackle more difficult tasks each time, makes readers feel they're in for a wild ride. Good or bad, you know it'll be an interesting trip you weren't expecting.

Replies:   robberhands
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Submitting a story here on SoL is one thing. If an author does only that, you have no grounds to assume anything about his attitude. The moment an author allows scoring and comments, he opens up to critique, which comes in every form, from positive and constructive to pointless and flat out offensive. I wouldn't think a significant number of authors would do so if their mindset would resemble anything like 'ego, laziness, and a 'Don't tell me what to do, I'm the Author attitude'.

I suspect much of that attitude comes from, not just the reception they get from a particular story, but also their daring to write something that certain readers just won't abide. I keep cautioning that a certain attitude among many readers chase away virtually any alternative voices that we'd all be richer to consider. You don't need to read Indian or gay romance stories, but it certainly helps to round you as a person if you at least give it a chance, occasionally, even if it only reinforces your previous opinions. You at least expose yourself to different views, and those views will help provide you with a broader perspective on writing as a whole.

But, in the end, it people jump on your very first effort with both feet, unrelenting even when you say that's not the direction your story is going, tends to produce authors who simply no longer care WHAT readers might think.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

I know I am an average writer and my stories are average. I work to improve, but I am not upset by being average for I attain my goal by creating the stories.

That, to me, marks a promising author. Many 'authors' write a single terrific book, but they simply don't have more than a single story inside them. Others start off rough, but improve over time, while others start off simply, and then tackle more and more difficult stories as they progress.

I'd rather grow with an author, rather than read the same thing again and again. If there isn't any controversy, then you simply aren't taking enough chances.

robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Your particular level of persnicketiness aside, not only do frequent mistakes make it clear the author doesn't take pride in their work, in strongly hints that they're Not learning, and thus their stories are unlikely to ever get better.

Your propensity for unfounded assumptions aside, the story which initiated this thread was concluded 2017-05-26. How much time will you allow an author to review his work before you lable him as an ignorant failure, without pride in his work and no hope to ever get better?

REP

@robberhands

personally I've no such particular insight into another author's mindset.


I don't either. But we both have an understanding of human nature and we can both make general statements.

When it comes to a specific author, I don't know what they are thinking. But people who make similar comments under almost identical circumstances tend to have similar views and thoughts.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@REP

...people who make similar comments under almost identical circumstances tend to have similar views and thoughts.

I don't deny that, I just didn't hear or read a significant number of such comments.

Replies:   REP
REP

@robberhands

I just didn't hear or read a significant number of such comments.


I'm 70 years old and I wasn't limiting the comment to just Forum comments.

Switch Blayde

I'll use a different medium to make a point — movies.

I saw a movie tonight that I should have loved. The story was my kind of story. But the acting (directing?) was horrendous. It ruined the movie. I watched it until the end because it's the kind of story I really like, but I suffered through it and actually didn't enjoy it.

Substitue "novel" for "movie" and "writing" for "acting." IMO, poor writing will ruin a story.

Joe_Bondi_Beach
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


That's why so many readers like MysteryWriter.


I'd never read him but I just went through "Missing in Sannabal." I think you nailed it. He's got all the elements, not much wasted verbiage. His spelling and grammar and punctuation are crap, but he still makes the story run. I gave it a a 10, which is what I give any story I like.

Whether he can't spell or he deliberately changed Sanibel [Island] to "Sannabal" doesn't matter, either.

bb

robberhands

@Switch Blayde

Substitue "novel" for "movie" and "writing" for "acting." IMO, poor writing will ruin a story.

I'll go with your comparison of movies and stories. You equated acting to writing but in your statement you also mentioned directing. I think the directing of a movie is a better metaphor for the writing of a story than it is to compare it to the acting of the characters in a movie. Characters act in movies as well as in stories. I would prefer to compare the acting abilities displayed in a movie to the character development in a story.

However, I would agree that a director's bad directing as easily ruins a movie, as an author's bad writing ruins a story.

What I don't agree to is the equation between writing on one hand and grammar and orthography on the other. The art to write a story is so much more than grammar and spelling. The flow of words, the ability to create lively characters, scenes, an entire world, and all of it with mere words - that is what it means to write a story. Grammar and spelling are only the very least part of it. It's also the reason some people can enjoy a story despite numerous grammatical and spelling errors. Grammar and orthography aside, it maybe was a well written story.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Substitue "novel" for "movie" and "writing" for "acting." IMO, poor writing will ruin a story.

Following up on your analogy, poor punctuation is like poor set design. If the sets keep falling apart, it's hard to take the movie/story seriously, whereas typos are like authors forgetting their likes, continually saying "Um, Ahh." If actors work to deliver their lines properly, then surely authors should as well.

That said, I still tend to side with rookie authors with tremendous storytelling over technical ability. But, after they've been around the block a couple times, they should really learn their way around the ring.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@robberhands

The art to write a story is so much more than grammar and spelling.


I can't agree more. What ruins a story for me is the way it's told more than the spelling. I've given up on many stories on SOL that had a good story because the writing bored me.

The reason I mentioned the director was because some of the actors were good actors. One was Kiefer Sutherland. My guess is they were taking direction from the director. But it wasn't the way the story was presented, which the director does, but the acting was just so bad.

Replies:   robberhands
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

poor punctuation is like poor set design.


I don't know about that, but poor punctuation is worse than bad spelling. Sometimes you have to keep stopping to figure out what the author is saying. That sure takes you out of the story.

I'm re-reading a story by Lubrican called "Bobby's Good Deeds." He's a good writer, but in this story he has a comma fetish. The sentences are choppy. It's annoying, but the story is good and the way he tells it is good so I put up with the extra commas. (btw, if someone's looking for a humorous story, the first 3 chapters are hilarious.)

Replies:   Bondi Beach
robberhands

@Switch Blayde

I can't agree more.

I don't think anyone seriously will disagree. The entire argument is blown out of proportions, anyway. No one claims bad grammar or spelling improves a story. What we were arguing about - rather pointlessly - are actually no more than different tolerance level. What someone views as an atrocious abuse of language, is no more than mildly annoying to someone else, who is more focused on different aspects of writing. I still say it's only a matter of personal priorities, or preferences if you will. No one can be right or wrong about it.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

No one can be right or wrong about it.


I'm not sure that's absolutely true. The wrong punctuation can change the whole meaning.

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

I'm not sure that's absolutely true.

At least I'm glad, you aren't certain, it's absolutely wrong.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

At least I'm glad, you aren't certain, it's absolutely wrong.


I'd be happier if that incorporated a smiley ;)

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

I'd be happier if that incorporated a smiley ;)

Cry me a river, I'm a humorless German.

awnlee jawking
Updated:

I noticed this story on the Rising Stars list:


What is the Rising Stars list and how is it accessed?

ETA something went wrong there - I tried to reply to topic :(

AJ

awnlee_jawking

@robberhands

Cry me a river, I'm a humorless German.


"The Crimea river valley is an internationally protected wildlife reserve. It is home to several birds that are only found here such as the Tough Tit, the Pillta Swallow, and the world's smallest species of violinbird."

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@awnlee_jawking

Tough Tit

Never heard of that bird but I already like it.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Never heard of that bird but I already like it.


In my neighbourhood we'd say "tough titty", which is one of the rare occasions I'd actually use the word 'titty'.

AJ

Replies:   Joe Long
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

The art to write a story is so much more than grammar and spelling.


True, but bad grammar can totally destroy a story due to it changing the meaning. A classic is how the use of grammar changes the meaning in this simple three word text.

Help. Police. Murder. - a call for help from the police because someone is trying to murder you.

Help police murder. - a request to help the police murder someone.

Help, police murder. - a call for help because the police are trying to murder you.

There is a lot of leeway in the use of grammar once you move away from Formal English to the less structured forms, but there is still the requirement to meet the basics to be understood.

Also, spelling can have a very damaging effect when the reader is thrown out of the story to work out what the hell the writer meant to say. The classic case I came across in a story was where a writer described a particular woman as having a small waste line - and immediately wondered how he knew she had an undersized bowel.

If you screw up the language and it's hard to understand the story while you read, then you failed as a writer.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

If you screw up the language and it's hard to understand the story while you read, then you failed as a writer.

If I can't understand a story I certainly wouldn't enjoy reading it. But that's just stating the obvious. Again, I refer to the story which initiated this thread. 1,378 readers voted on it, resulting in a score of 8.67 on SoL. Do you want to tell me they did that without being able to understand the story?

madnige

@Dominions Son

Is this the five minute argument or the full half-hour?

Monty Python

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

Do you want to tell me they did that without being able to understand the story?


Possible, I can't speak for other people and their thought processes - however, a lot of people today think the way to spell the word for something being destroyed as it being rekt and not wrecked - so how do you tell?

sunkuwan

Language is flowing. Especially English. If "rekt" is used more and more often in the decades to come, it will be the correct way of using it in the future and "wrecked" will be seen as outdated and not used anymore.
The past is full of dying words and meanings.

Wheezer

@robberhands

Do you want to tell me they did that without being able to understand the story?

You are ignoring the likelihood that at least a fair portion of that 1,387 voters would not know a homonym or homophone if it bit them in the ass and does not realize that there, their & they're are not interchangeable...

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Wheezer

You are ignoring the likelihood that at least a fair portion of that 1,387 voters would not know a homonym or homophone if it bit them in the ass...

I've no idea how likely that is, but it doesn't matter to me because it doesn't lessen the value of their vote.

Replies:   REP
REP

@robberhands

because


One of the problems with voting is that anyone can do it, even the ignorant and uninformed.

Wheezer

@REP

One of the problems with voting is that anyone can do it, even the ignorant and uninformed.

"I will not go off topic..."
"I will not go off topic..."
"I will not go off topic..."
"I will not go off topic..."
"I will not go off topic..."
"I will not go off topic..."
"I will not go off topic..."
"I will not go off topic..."

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

True, but bad grammar can totally destroy a story due to it changing the meaning. A classic is how the use of grammar changes the meaning in this simple three word text.

I understand your point, and while I agree with your examples, they're hardly the kinds of things to throw me out of a story. You can easily infer what the author meant by the context. Those kinds of grammar mistakes compose a variety of humorous writing advice books, but the fact they're viewed as humor demonstrates that mostly everyone can figure out what the author intended. Thus I wouldn't worry.

I'd still prefer the correct grammar, but I wouldn't throw a cute author out of bed because of it!

Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

Language is flowing. Especially English. If "rekt" is used more and more often in the decades to come, it will be the correct way of using it in the future and "wrecked" will be seen as outdated and not used anymore.
The past is full of dying words and meanings.

Just imagine how pissed poor William Shakespeare would be over what the OED did to his dear language!

Bondi Beach

@Switch Blayde

I'm re-reading a story by Lubrican called "Bobby's Good Deeds." He's a good writer, but in this story he has a comma fetish. The sentences are choppy. It's annoying, but the story is good and the way he tells it is good so I put up with the extra commas. (btw, if someone's looking for a humorous story, the first 3 chapters are hilarious.)


Thanks for this. I like Lubrican's stuff, despite some over-explaining here and there.

bb

Crumbly Writer

@Wheezer

"I will not go off topic..."
"I will not go off topic..."
"I will not go off topic..."
"I will not go off topic..."
"I will not go off topic..."
"I will not go off topic..."
"I will not go off topic..."
"I will not go off topic..."

Speaking of alternate topics ...

Bondi Beach
Updated:

@robberhands


Do you want to tell me they did that without being able to understand the story?


I rite pretty gud (sorry, couldn't resist) and I read pretty well, too. I understood the story just fine. Whether I also saw more errors---as apparently you did---than those other readers doesn't matter. In this particular case, the strength of the story outweighed the errors, which were many.

Let's be clear. The story itself wasn't complicated. It was short and to the point, and the author got from A to B without messing around with guardrails, speed limits or anything else.

In my view, he succeeded, and I say that while agreeing with Wheezer that when there's enough crap it ruins the story.

bb

Rambulator

To be honest the American version of English has been going downhill since they brought out hooked on Phonics.

Dominions Son

@madnige

Is this the five minute argument or the full half-hour?


Yes.

No.

:)

Dominions Son

@sunkuwan

The past is full of dying words and meanings.


Thesaurus: A book of extinct words. :)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

In my view, he succeeded, and I say that while agreeing with Wheezer that when there's enough crap it ruins the story.


I agree as well, but exactly how much crap it takes to ruin a story will vary from one reader to another.

My own tolerance is fairly high. That probably comes from the fact that I never learned to spell decent until I was in college and using a word processor with a spell checker on a regular basis. An my hand writing is so poor that even with block printing, I can't read it myself half the time.

Replies:   JohnBobMead
robberhands

@REP

One of the problems with voting is that anyone can do it, even the ignorant and uninformed.

Yes, that's the joy of democracy but does it apply in this case? Different people read the same story but their evaluation of the story greatly differs. How do you decide who should not be allowed to vote on the story or whose vote is of lesser value?

Replies:   REP
robberhands

@Bondi Beach

In my view, he succeeded, and I say that while agreeing with Wheezer that when there's enough crap it ruins the story.

It never was my position to begrudge anyone's right to dislike stories which doesn't satisfy their demands on correct grammar and orthography. I defend my own right to enjoy a story, even if others find it revolting in regards to these technicalities.

awnlee jawking

@REP

One of the problems with voting is that anyone can do it, even the ignorant and uninformed.


I remember a scientific study based around a 'guess the number of objects in the jar' competition.

The researchers found that taking the nutjob estimators into account when calculating the average (even if they said one or a thousand) resulted in a significantly more accurate estimate than just taking the average of those estimators who tried to invoke science or maths for their estimates.

The ignorant and uninformed rock!

AJ

Replies:   REP
REP

@Wheezer

"I will not go off topic..."

Spoilsport. :)

REP

@robberhands

How do you decide who should not be allowed to vote on the story or whose vote is of lesser value?


I wouldn't bar anyone from voting. Even the ignorant and uninformed will sometimes see something the rest of us missed.

Besides, rating stories is so subjective that the results are meaningless.

REP

@awnlee jawking

The researchers found that taking the nutjob estimators into account


What criteria was used to define an estimate as having been generated by a 'nutjob esstimator'? ? ?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@REP

What criteria was used to define an estimate as having been generated by a 'nutjob estimator'?


Good question and I don't know what they used. Some are obvious - if there's a jar full of round things and you can see plenty of them through the glass, an estimator who estimates their total as one is clearly not the sharpest Kardashian on the reality TV show, despite being a prime candidate for a career as a left-wing economics expert.

AJ

sunkuwan

I began "Flight of the code monkey" yesterday and was satisfied with the first chapter. Many are saying it is a very good story.
And then I got to chapter 2 and was a little turned off. Like I said earlier, bad accents are a major issue for me and over half of the chapter was in a bad accent. I hope the girl learns English in the story she looks like she is one of the main heroines of the story and I skipped most of her dialog because I couldn't read the bad joke of a non-native English speaker.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Bondi Beach

In my view, he succeeded, and I say that while agreeing with Wheezer that when there's enough crap it ruins the story.

Hopefully, once completed, hopefully the author will go back and clean it up to improve it's long-term ratings. He got the immediate attention, and reworking would only improve it, and I daresay most readers would be interested in reading a revised (and cleaner) version.

Here's hoping, anyway, as I doubt it's likely to happen.

Replies:   Wheezer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Thesaurus: A book of extinct words.

More likely, Thesaurus: words no one would ever consider using left to their own devices (and probably for good reason).

Replies:   Dominions Son
Vlad_Inhaler

@robberhands

It was Mark Twain who said "A German joke is no laughing matter", although I see a punk band ("German Measles") have appropriated it as an album title.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Vlad_Inhaler

"A German joke is no laughing matter"

To garner some sympathy for my misunderstood homeland, here is a self-depreciating German joke:

Three astronauts from Russia, America and Germany discussed which of their countries is the most pioneering in space. The Russian said, "We are, as we were the first country to go into space." The Americans argued, "We are, as we were the first to put a man on the moon." The German said, "We WILL be as we will be the first to land on the sun." The others argued that this isn't possible as it would be too hot. The German, however, reasoned "We have already thought of this: we will fly at night!"

Vlad_Inhaler
Updated:

@robberhands

Schmerz, lass nach.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

More likely


It's a personal joke based on the structural similarity between dinosaur and thesaurus.

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

To garner some sympathy for my misunderstood homeland, here is a self-depreciating German joke:


I would have said 'self-deprecating'.

The German said, "We WILL be as we will be the first to land on the sun." The others argued that this isn't possible as it would be too hot. The German, however, reasoned "We have already thought of this: we will fly at night!"


1) If seen this several times as a 'blonde' joke.
2) There was an episode of Andromeda (aka Hercules in Space) in which they landed on the sun, shut down for periodic maintenance ;)

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

1) If seen this several times as a 'blonde' joke.

There are many blonde Germans.

Wheezer
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Here's hoping, anyway, as I doubt it's likely to happen.


Someone in the comments section said that the story is being edited and the grammar cleaned up. We'll see.

burka_oz ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2017‎ ‎10‎:‎22‎:‎16‎ ‎PM

Please, we've had enough of the nastygrams about the grammar and the spelling. It's fairly obvious and I don't need it needs to be stated yet again.

Likewise the nastygrams about the fact that the author is refusing to edit his work. Though he hasn't posted about it here the complete work is being edited and proofed and updated and tense corrected and just about all of the other problems will be fixed that people have found.

I enjoyed this story so much and though there were problems I decided that the bones of the story was so good that I would come out of editorial retirement and fix this up. This will take time, I don't yet have a timetable as to when I will complete this work but please know that it is being worked on and hopefully you won't have that long to wait before you can read this great tale as it should be.

Please bear with me, it will happen :-)


I am not certain if burka_oz is doing this on his own, or with the cooperation of the author.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@sunkuwan

If I recall, the use of accents drops off after a chapter or two, but does reoccur on occasion. It seems to have been done primarily to display the lack of proficiency in pronouncing Ureeblay's language.

It is a good story, but Kid Wigger isn't in a hurry to get to the end. There is always something new to address.

Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

I began "Flight of the code monkey" yesterday and was satisfied with the first chapter. Many are saying it is a very good story.
And then I got to chapter 2 and was a little turned off. Bad accents are a major issue for me and over half of the chapter was in a bad accent.

We've discussed this before, but distinctive accents, while potentially powerful in a story, are highly problematic. Some of the most powerful published books feature extensive accents, and many of them are utterly unreadable, as a result.

I've learned, it's best to introduce a character's accent with a paragraph of two of accented dialogue, but then cut it WAY back, only using a few key phrases to remind readers the character is still speaking with an accent.

Replies:   Joe Long
Crumbly Writer

@Wheezer

I am not certain if burka_oz is doing this on his own, or with the cooperation of the author.

Whichever, I encourage everyone to offer encouragement, rather than further gripes. I suspect the author is close to shutting off comments due to the nasty comments about it, so now that he's doing the right thing, we should back him for it.

It'll be interesting to see what direction this thread takes once he completes his edit.

JohnBobMead

@Crumbly Writer

Good readers don't require advanced degrees, and even those who never graduated middle school can educate themselves by reading widely (not just select books). I don't think anyone here thought a college education was required for have a voice. Nowadays, an advanced degree is good for nothing more than your next job. :(


_Very_ true. I've hung around enough people who were very well educated in areas that weren't covered in their schooling, but learned through diligent self-study over the years. And it's just getting so much _easier_ to do that, with all the free and semi-free resources available via the Internet, which can be accessed at your local Public Library if you can't afford your own computer or Internet connection.

_Really_ right on the money in regard to the advanced degrees, the only reason I have one (an MLS) is that it was required in order to be hired as a Librarian, and I got mine pre-WWW, so I had to do a lot of self-learning as the Web developed. I used a Kaypro IIx to write my papers on in Grad School, if that helps anyone date when I was in school; IBM had _just_ come out with the first PCs, I picked the Kaypro up used for around $300.00; OK, my father purchased it for me.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@JohnBobMead

I used a Kaypro


Is that the big heavy thing with a tiny screen? My DBAs were on call for production problems. They had beepers and had to drive into the office to fix the problem. So I bought a Kaypro for each location for the person on call that week to take home and fix the problem from home (way before laptops). One DBA in Florida was a tiny girl who needed help lifting it into her car trunk.

Replies:   JohnBobMead
JohnBobMead

@Dominions Son

My own tolerance is fairly high. That probably comes from the fact that I never learned to spell decent until I was in college and using a word processor with a spell checker on a regular basis. An my hand writing is so poor that even with block printing, I can't read it myself half the time.


Oh God Yes!

Well, my spelling isn't _that_ bad, except that I keep hitting different keys than I mean to (three spelling corrections so far in this sentence, oops, there were just two, make that three more; five more). I stopped trying cursive thirty years ago, it was so hard to read. The only block printing I do anymore is writing down portal passwords for Heroes of Might and Magic II, the few checks that I write, I guess that's it; and I have a hard time reading the passwords half the time.

Given that my current hobby is transcribing Early Modern English documents, I'm getting pretty tolerant of weird and inconsistent spellings, although I do think that the ubiquity of spelling checkers in modern software makes completely misspelled words, not just homonyms, synonyms, etc., a little hard to justify for modern day writers; you have to be deliberately ignoring the red underlining telling you the word isn't recognized; or so sure that you are correct and the spell checker is wrong that you add the spelling to the dictionary file; when I think it _is_ a word, just one the spell checker's dictionary didn't recognize, I do an online search to see what the prevalent spelling is, and use that, adding it to the dictionary if it doesn't match what is already there; I also set up distinct dictionaries for different subjects, so I don't fill the main dictionary up with non-standard terminology. Periodically I open the dictionary files in Notepad++ and clean out any wrong spellings that accidentally got added. And I ignore the spell checker when deliberately using a Commonwealth spelling.

JohnBobMead

@Switch Blayde

Is that the big heavy thing with a tiny screen? My DBAs were on call for production problems. They had beepers and had to drive into the office to fix the problem. So I bought a Kaypro for each location for the person on call that week to take home and fix the problem from home (way before laptops). One DBA in Florida was a tiny girl who needed help lifting it into her car trunk.


Yep. Claimed to be a Portable Computer. It _was_, kinda sorta maybe. The keyboard could be latched onto the front of the main box, making it one big solid mass with nothing exposed that could be injured, had a strap handle built in. It was very competitive in the CP/M days, but they held off on transitioning to the MS-DOS PC world too long, and went under. I can believe someone needing help getting it into a car trunk.

Dominions Son

@JohnBobMead

I stopped trying cursive thirty years ago, it was so hard to read.


I'm almost 48 (Thursday). I NEVER mastered more than just enough cursive to sign my name.

Replies:   JohnBobMead
JohnBobMead

@Dominions Son

I NEVER mastered more than just enough cursive to sign my name.


I stopped using cursive for my signature after one too many phone calls from Personnel and Acquisitions verifying that the illegible squiggle in the signature block was my signature. My staff had regular competitions to mimic it, with hilarious results. I'll be 57 in December, cursive was a regular part of the school curriculum starting in First Grade, it's just that my mind/body interaction is so piss poor that try to visualize the letters as I might, what came out was a convulsive squiggle. Not a pretty sight. I'd given up on cursive for note taking and writing long before then.

Dominions Son

@JohnBobMead

I'd given up on cursive for note taking and writing long before then.


I never got that far in the first place.

I had had a few teachers in after third that would complain about my block printing and get me to try cursive.

It never lasted more than a week.

REP
Updated:

@JohnBobMead


I have a hard time reading the passwords half the time.


I think that's called password security. :)

Joe Long

@awnlee jawking

In my neighbourhood we'd say "tough titty"


I remember that from my youth. Probably was my father.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Joe Long

@Crumbly Writer

I've learned, it's best to introduce a character's accent with a paragraph of two of accented dialogue, but then cut it WAY back, only using a few key phrases to remind readers the character is still speaking with an accent.


For showing "Pittsburghese", I've used a mild version that only uses a few iconic words and phrases. There are a handful of less educated characters (such as grandma back on the farm) that go full blown, but that's sparse.

Joe Long

@JohnBobMead

I stopped using cursive for my signature


The only time I've used cursive since 7th grade is my signature - and I use my opposite hand. It was once legible, but with each passing decade it's become a quickly drawn squiggle.

awnlee jawking

@JohnBobMead

Given that my current hobby is transcribing Early Modern English documents, I'm getting pretty tolerant of weird and inconsistent spellings


You probably have to contend with archaic letter formations too.

I seem to remember a human verification system which took difficult-to-translate words from archaic documents and required the user to transcribe them to modern lettering to prove they were human. The system's authors then used the consensus as the likely transcription of the word. Can anyone remember the details - was it Google?

AJ

Replies:   JohnBobMead
JohnBobMead

@awnlee jawking

I seem to remember a human verification system which took difficult-to-translate words from archaic documents and required the user to transcribe them to modern lettering to prove they were human. The system's authors then used the consensus as the likely transcription of the word. Can anyone remember the details - was it Google?


Oh my God, that's _wonderful_! Of course, what I used to do with hard to read letters asking for research help while I was a supervisor in the Chicago Public Library's ILL unit was hand it to someone I supervised; if they could read it and had a clue about the topic, they got to handle the request. Remember one time the person turned out to be looking for the lyrics to "The Monster Mash", Linda, the librarian I tried this trick on, read the request, then started to _sing_ "The Monster Mash", complete with choreography! Had some good times there.

sunkuwan

back to the spirit of this thread,

I abandoned "Flight of the Code Monkey". the premise was cool but after 7 chapters, I could no longer stand his second wife's accent, even if it got a little better. Additionally, the plot is going at a snail's pace with all the sex talk. I basically skipped the whole 6th chapter, what should have been a little getting-out-of-bed-and-into-his-workplace paragraph took a whole chapter.
I have nothing against harems and an overabundance of possible mating partners, like "a well lived life" and "next door to heaven" or even over-the-top sex premises like "six meals a day" but there are plot developments between sex scenes in those stories. Anything I read in Code monkey is 90% sex talk or talk about how horny they are or the sexual tension between the characters and 10% plot advancement.

Replies:   robberhands  Wheezer
robberhands
Updated:

@sunkuwan

back to the spirit of this thread,

If you didn't like the story it was a good decision to stop reading it. I wish that would reflect the spirit of this thread.

Wheezer
Updated:

@sunkuwan


back to the spirit of this thread,


I started this thread, and had no complaints at all about the story itself. It is remarkably good. I'd love to read a sequel. (if he makes use of good editors & proofreaders this time!) My issues, and the spirit of this thread, is how bad grammar with all the spelling errors, homophone/homonym mistakes, and excess punctuation errors can interfere with the pleasure of reading an otherwise good story - that is, if the reader recognizes & is bothered by the errors in the first place. As the responses in this thread show, some people are oblivious to these errors or, at the least, assign grammar a very low priority.

Bad grammar is not really an issue with "Code Monkey."

Replies:   sunkuwan  Crumbly Writer
sunkuwan

@Wheezer

See, and this is where the opinions differ. I'm okay if there are spelling errors, etc. as long as the flow of the story doesn't stagnate.
Code monkey is no stroke story and is tagged with "some sex" but the first 7 chapters are constant situations and talks about sex.
The bad accent from Anika crashes the reading flow to a halt, she sounds like an imbecile and the issue that she was mentally and physically the equivalent of an 8-year-old on her planet a year ago is just the tip of the iceberg.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@sunkuwan

I'm not arguing your point about "Code Monkey." Your issues with the story are about style and content rather than grammar. This is a grammar thread is the point I am making. If you feel that strongly about the writing style and plot devices in Code Monkey, perhaps a new thread to discuss it would be more appropriate.

sunkuwan

The very first answers to this thread were the argument, that a great story with bad grammar is better than a mediocre story with great grammar. I'm not saying, code monkey is mediocre just that bad accents and non-existent reading flow is a bad mark.
I had more fun with Magestic, which had obvious spelling errors in every chapter.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Crumbly Writer

@JohnBobMead

I also set up distinct dictionaries for different subjects, so I don't fill the main dictionary up with non-standard terminology.

I've always wrestled with that. When I first started writing, I started adding my odd-character names to my personal dictionary, just so WORD wouldn't flag every use of them, but I've gone though so many oddball names (often the names of aliens) that it was no longer feasible.

The problem with the 'online spellcheckers' is that they're so rarely updated. What was a decent product quickly becomes unreliable when they never upgrade it (think the standard PC spellchecker). Grammarly is currently the top-of-the-line, but I find it only makes you obsess over words, yanking you out of the story you're writing to obsess over whether each word is correct or not, rather than writing and fixing errors in a later phase.

Still, I've trained myself to ignore wavy red-underlines because the PC spellchecker produces so many false-positives. It's essentially worthless for anything than large three-to-five dollar words.

Crumbly Writer

@JohnBobMead

I'll be 57 in December, cursive was a regular part of the school curriculum starting in First Grade, it's just that my mind/body interaction is so piss poor that try to visualize the letters as I might, what came out was a convulsive squiggle.

I used to be pretty good at it, as I drew (with a permanent artistic ink pen) where making straight lines is vital, and would often write 'found conversations' or random ideas on the facing pages. But once I stopped (and married my computer once I started writing) I've completely forgotten how to write (cursively) and no longer even try.

I also wrote so small in my youth (supposedly a sign of intense concentration) that I can no longer read ANY of them. Now, I struggle through signing books for friends and family.

Crumbly Writer

@Joe Long

I remember that from my youth. Probably was my father.

Your father had tough titties, or he used it in reference to you mother? 'D

Replies:   Joe Long
Crumbly Writer

@Wheezer

As the responses in this thread show, some people are oblivious to these errors or, at the least, assign grammar a very low priority.

I don't think they are oblivious to errors, they just treat them on a sliding scale, with their objections varying depending upon 1) quality of story 2) experience of the author. For some stories, they'd side with you on the errors being unjustifiable, but for a strong story—especially for promising newbie authors—they're willing to 'hold their noses' and power through, simply to discover how the story works out.

That said, I'd doubt they'd continue though a 2nd or even 3rd story without the author turning that trend around.

@sunkuwan

and the issue that she was mentally and physically the equivalent of an 8-year-old on her planet a year ago is just the tip of the iceberg.

That sound suspiciously like a quick 'patch' to justify a horrendous use of accents in a story. ("Hey, she's a friggin' idiot! What do you expect me to do? (other than ripping her out of the story)")

Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

The very first answers to this thread were the argument, that a great story with bad grammar is better than a mediocre story with great grammar. I'm not saying, code monkey is mediocre just that bad accents and non-existent reading flow is a bad mark.

Now that, I can definitely agree with!

Joe Long

@Crumbly Writer

Your father had tough titties, or he used it in reference to you mother? 'D


I couldn't tell you about my mom's.

It would be used in the same context as "tough shit."

Such as if I'd whine about something "Well tough titties - what do you expect me to do about it?"

REP

@sunkuwan

just that bad accents and non-existent reading flow is a bad mark.

I don't have a 'good' answer.

Authors need to show variations in their characters, but how to do that. Physical differences between human and alien is one way to show difference. But we are the product of our society, so that is not enough. Aliens would have different languages, so odd spellings to reflect that language is sometime used. Due to physical differences in their equivalent of human vocal cords, they would pronounce letter combinations differently than humans. I suspect is what you call accents. Even within the group of humans, they come from different planets and their belief structures will be different.

Kid Wigger seems to be trying to show these differences. Perhaps you would like to share your method of accomplishing this goal instead of just gripping about what he is doing.

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@REP

After the first chapter, it would have been enough to "tell, don't show" in regards to her accent. The house elf's in Harry Potter had a better use of English than Anika.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@sunkuwan

Continued use of an accent is helpful in reminding a reader a character is from another planet and that is why their beliefs are different, not necessarily wrong, from the other characters.

ETA: But that doesn't define how you would do it.

Replies:   sunkuwan  Crumbly Writer
sunkuwan

@REP

Like I said: "tell, don't show".

Replies:   REP
REP

@sunkuwan

I understand. Every so often throughout the story, you are going to 'tell' the reader that a character is actually speaking with an accent and explain why they speak with an accent.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Continued use of an accent is helpful in reminding a reader a character is from another planet and that is why their beliefs are different, not necessarily wrong, from the other characters.

The technique I always use, which I've repeated often, is you use the accent full bore for one or two paragraphs, so readers can appreciate just how odd it is, and then you cut way back to only sprinkling in a few key phrases, just enough to remind readers that they're speaking with an accent (think of a Canadian character responding "Ah").

That's enough to keep the character's accent in play, which maintaining the flow and 'readability' of the story. However, that takes a bit of practice, and even for the experienced it's often difficult to pull off, as I had a bitch of a time with my last book (with different characters from a variety of different alien species all with different familiarities with English and each species with their own linguistic challenges.

medic975

That story is excellent but you're dead on with the author needing a proofreader desperately. I would read more though.

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