Friday, March 09, 2007

Putting our best foot forward...

I learned how to read and write in the early 1960's, when phonics was part of the elementary school curriculum. My classmates and I learned to "sound out" the words. Then we learned how to spell the words correctly, use a dictionary to look up the meanings (and check those all-important spellings), and how to diagram a sentence to learn the rules of grammar. I learned to love to read and write perhaps in spite of all these lessons, since anymore it seems that these methods have fallen so out of favor that there is a stigma attached to them -- and to anyone who longs to see correct writing.

On a website and forum devoted to writers and writing, shouldn't we be putting our best written foot forward, as it were? "E-speak" is fine when e-mailing or text messaging friends, but, come on, we're in the public eye here. If professional agents, editors, and publishers visit this site, what do you want them to see? I want them to see my best writing -- even if the subject matter is trivial and the thought process is a little muddy. I at least want all the proper elements present and accounted for -- like complete sentences (or at least fragments that make sense), capital letters where called for, punctuation, and correct spelling. Or just call me the Grammar Gestapo.

I think I'll be leaving the country for a while now.


Speck here... No need to leave the country. I say Amen to this post. Because we just don't know who migh show up at StoryCrafters and look around. Many of us have a link to StoryCrafters in our email signature. It is also in my blogger profile and when I post a comment at other blogs (which I do at times), anyone can come from those blogs to StoryCrafters. I bet some of y'all have the same thing going on.

Miss Snark and other agents say they do google the names of those who query them. You never can tell, but we may get agents at StoryCrafters occasionally. And while I'm not as "formal" as I could be, after all we are supposed to be having fun but I do try to make sure my words are spelled right and my posts for the most part make sense:--)


Jean said...

I forgot to mention...

As I go to conferences this year, I'll be talking to editors, agents and other writers about doing workshops for us at StoryCrafters. And you know they will want to check out the website!!!

StoryCrafters IS in the public eye. While that is a good thing, we have to remember someone my be watching us:-)


Cheryl said...

Oh no, I'm already paranoid enough. LOL! Seriously though, I do think it's important to put forth the effort to type our posts correctly. It's the anal-retentive person in me. If I find a typo in one of my posts, even if it is months old, I will go and fix it.

But I think it is equally as important to have fun. We don't want this to become a place where people are afraid to screw up.

And about the workshops Speck, I'm all for that. Thanks for putting the SC name out there and for bringing us some great stuff.

Thanks for a great post Crazy.


Snow said...

deffinately something to think about crazy and Speck. I'm one of those to just relax when at SC and forget the importants of spelling.

Unlike most of you I taught myself how to read and write. I wasn't given the womderful opportunity to join a class full of students and resources.

At the age of 5 my mother became very ill, My Dad worked and was too busy doing other things to help out, Leaving me to care for her, missing out on important parts of learning.

My point is... That I'm one who forgets how important spelling is at times and willl try to correct that mistake as offten as I can catch it.

Thanks for the reminder. As always a great and helpful blog post.

Keep up the good work.


Jean said...

Seems I didn't check my comment as well as I should have. But yeah, StoryCrafters is supposed to be a fun place.


Anonymous said...

Crazy My Dear,

What a wonderful post. We must be the same took me right down memory lane. It's all true, so true, and thank you for the reminder. I get slack sometimes, noteably when I am tired, but I do try to insure my posts are readable and I do keep in mind at all times what you are talking about. It's why I write on the story train truth be told. Hoping someone may read it and think it's fun, and a job fairly well done.
But, I do tend to let it go at times, because as the others said, it's fun, no pressure stuff.
I promise both you and myself to live up to my phonics, grammar and training in spelling and do better from now on.


Candela Martinez said...

I appreciate this post Crazy. I think we can all find a happy medium to maintain fun and keep our posts presentable.

Here is where your own sense of duty kicks in. Each post has the posting member name attached. Each member has the responsibility of making their ownselves look good. I think that's a pretty important responsibility. Thanks for reminding me that editors may google my name and find my very poorly typed post with 10 misspellings. Let's continue to have fun with that little reminder in the back of our memory banks, HEY, this might be seen by my next editor/agent. Oh gracious, what kind of impression has Sassy given the world? (LOL)
Candela Martinez