Why Know? #amwriting

Today’s post reblogs material from my old WEBLOG, because caring for Mom is eating me up today. In an odd twist of fate, I am AGAIN editing The Book Formerly Known As EEL’S REVERENCE, hereafter to be called THE WOLVES OF PORT NOVO.


I’ve had this discussion with people recently and I’ve read discussions in various fora (plural of forum is fora, not forums. You’re welcome.) lately.

YES, an engrossing story and compelling characters are important. Being able to tell a story with impact and heart cannot be taught, and is the soul of moving and memorable writing.

But that thing somebody told you about, “Don’t worry about the spelling and punctuation and stuff–that’s what editors are for”–you know, that thing? NOT! Let me put that another way: WAY NOT!!!!!

I’m currently doing line edits of EEL’S REVERENCE. That means, my children, that I have to go through the copy, embarassed about how many technical errors I didn’t catch the first sebbenty-lebben times I went through it. Punctuation errors, spelling errors, words left out (or left in, after I changed part of a sentence)…. I’ve been SO irritated, when reading a published book, to find sloppy editing, and I’ve growled at the “editor” about it. Now I find that I’M supposed to be the one to catch those things!

So remember: If you should buy a copy of EEL’S REVERENCE, and if you should find any technical errors in it…. Um, yeah, um, BLAME MY EDITOR! Gosh, why didn’t he catch that stuff? Yeah, yeah, I have been ill served. Not my fault. Totally.

The good news is, spelling, punctuation, word choice, grammar–all the technical skills–CAN be taught.

Get yourself a good current style book or book about writing. Look on the internet.

Do your best, but write with heart and clarity and you’ll carry most of your readers with you.


A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Have a character write another character a note which has a different meaning than intended because of a spelling, grammatical or punctuation error. The classic example might be a note from your wife, who has left to visit her mother: love you leaving you turkey. “Love you? Leaving you, Turkey!” is quite a bit different from “Love you! Leaving you turkey.”


I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Why Know? #amwriting

  1. joey

    August 21, 2017 at 5:21pm

    I did not know fora was the plural of forums. I must educate everyone else immediately!
    I wondered if you’d be at GenCon this weekend. Bubba came home and I was sure he’d wanna go, but he said it’s too spensive. If he thinks it’s too spensive, I didn’t even feel I could afford to ask how much, lol!

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      August 21, 2017 at 5:24pm

      Yeah, too spensive. Plus: Mom. I won’t be going much of nowhere until I either get her well or admit her to somewhere where they’ll get her well. She finishes this round of antibiotics August 31, so we’re livin’ for the end of the month. I hear GenCon is fun, though.

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