Sunday, July 21, 2013

Practice What You Preach

I read several newsletters and blogs to learn how to write better; how to open a novel and grab the reader, how to involve all the senses, ... that sort of thing. One of the first things I was taught was that your first draft is not your last draft. (Took me a lo-o-ong time to learn that lesson.)

Your first draft is where you get the basic ideas out of your head and onto paper - or computer file, or whatever. Then you spend time going through that project a few times to add descriptions, select a more precise verb, make sure the reader understands what you intended to say.

And then, you polish it.

Remember back in school, when you learned about subjects, verbs, direct objects, punctuation, and all of that? That's the stuff a writer worries about in the final polish. Because as a writer, you want others to see your work in its best condition. If your work is full of misspelled words, incorrect choice of pronouns, and 'sentences' that don't make sense because you forgot your punctuation, the readers won't be able to understand what your are trying to say.

I understand that bloggers and newsletter editors have a limited amount of time, but this is a very important part of writing. Unfortunately, not every writer remembers that before they post their blog or article. And I have found some that I am thinking of not following anymore because I have to work so hard to figure out what they are trying to say. Repeated words. Extra pronouns from when they rewrote the sentence, but didn't get it completely cleaned up. Missing commas that - if they were there - would tell the reader 'I've finished that thought, now I'm moving on.'

It's sad when a group of people manage to forget the lingual necessities that they continually remind each other are so important. I hope I never get that sloppy with my blogs. If you catch me at it, feel free to call me out about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment