Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dog Days Lament


by Jackie King

The dog-days of summer arrived a little later this year, and along with the heat came lethargy and indolence. I’m calling this the lazy-day-syndrome, and I fear that I’m infected. Coining a disease sounds less harsh than calling myself a slug, don’t you think? (I have a habit of excusing all of my bad habits…my favorite is describing my tendency toward untidiness as artistic clutter.

The above paragraph is in explanation of today’s struggle, which is settling down to edit an almost-finished book. The word-smithing isn’t going at all well. My dialogue sounds as if it needs heavy starch and a hot iron.

I spent considerable time scanning through dialogue, knowing that what I was reading wasn’t quite up to snuff, but not sure how to fix the problem. I wanted to put the work aside, telling myself that it was too hot to work, but that’s not going to bring in royalties and pay the bills. So I decided to let off some steam for a while and lambast my pet peeve, as a reader, not a writer. Complaining always makes a person feel better, don’t you think?

I abhor the current odious trend of using both a punctuation mark and a question mark at the end of a sentence. Why? It’s insulting to me as a reader. It’s as if the author is saying, “I can’t trust you to get this, so I’m red-lighting the words to help you out.”

News flash: If the sentence is written correctly, I’ll get it. Also, when I see double punctuation at the end of one sentence, my first emotion is to throw the book across the room.

Why? Because it’s insulting to my intelligence. If the sentence is exciting, trust me, I’ll know that. If it isn’t, an exclamation mark won’t convince me.

Okay, I’ve had my little verbal temper-tantrum and now I feel all better. Guess I’ll go back to editing.

Hugs to all,

Jackie

10 comments:

ainaa khan said...

No doubt your site is amazing and I really like it. Nice writing, you are doing great effort, your way of writing is unique. Love this site.
urdu novels free

June Shaw said...

Jackie, I'm sure most readers understand your tantrum: )

Jean Henry Mead said...

Jackie, when I see double punctuation, I think the book wasn't edited well. It bothers me too.

Jackie King said...

Thanks for your comment, Ainaa.

Jackie King said...

Thanks, June. I'm worried that double punctuation will finally become accepted as have so many other incorrect grammar usages. And thanks for listening to me vent.

Jackie King said...

Jean, that's absolutely correct. The shocking thing is, I have seen this in many best selling books.

Hugs,
Jackie

Bill Kirton said...

Yep, totally agree. I also like Elmore Leonard's 5th 'rule' of writing: 'Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose'.

Jackie King said...

Well said, Bill. I'm also a huge fan of Elmore Leonard.

Jackie King said...

Well said, Bill. I'm also a huge fan of Elmore Leonard.

ainaa khan said...

No doubt your site is amazing and I really like it. Nice writing, you are doing great effort, your way of writing is unique. Love this site.
urdu novels free