Been reading some books that a friend of mine from high school has written and self published.  Now, the stories are really good, hold my interest and for the most part believable. (Most of them are of the Stephen King type of story.)  The sentence structure, grammar, and spelling about make my eyes bleed.  His second to last book was edited by his son who was supposed to be able to do a better job than my friend who has a degree in journalism and once worked at our hometown newspaper as a writer.  Sorry, it still about made my eyes bleed.

I have told him that I would be more than willing to edit his books for him as I do it for another friend as well.  Nope he could do it himself or have his son do it.  I didn’t even ask for payment, I never do; I just wanted to do it so it read well. He has at least one of his books on Amazon for sale and the only comment about the book mentions that it would be a great book if it didn’t have those errors in it.

Here is a sample of one of his errors:  “The room had a really fowl smell.”  Wish he would’ve used the proper spelling of “foul” in his sentence and perhaps I wouldn’t have burst out laughing at a part of the story that was supposed to be scaring me.

He also switches tenses in a sentence as in: ” the crew was a motley group, even if they are pirates.”   Sometimes I have to stop reading because I find myself correcting it in my head as I go; which really detracts from the story.

I use this blog to hone my writing skills.  I am also thinking about buying a lecture series on sentence structure and how to craft a well written sentence.  As the brochure states, “Great writing begins – and ends- with the sentence. Whether it uses two words (“Jesus wept.”) or 1,287 words (a sentence in William Faulkner’s Absalom! Absalom! ), sentences have the power to captivate, motivate, educate, and most importantly, delight.”   I think for $39.95 and having to sit through 24 lectures of 30 minutes each, I just might learn a whole lot!!


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