Editing for Grammarphobes: A Huge Headache

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


I have a headache today, one of those that starts at the base of the skull and travels swiftly upward, eventually encompassing the entire head. I think it is partially the result of a thread on the Kindle Boards forum. A few threads, actually. 


This particular one has to do with defining literary fiction, which no one really seems to be able to do. Despite this, several posters have come out against it with snide remarks about it having no plot, no readers and no interest, exemplifying the age-old commercial fiction versus prize-winning fiction debate, only now they are calling themselves genre writers versus literary fiction writers.


It is unhealthy and unproductive. I think many of the posters are forgetting the most important part of this whole business —the writing. 


Where are the discussions about the craft? Where are the threads devoted to developing plots or creating characters? Someone tried to start a post on character development recently, but it died quickly as news of Amanda Hocking’s well-deserved deal with St. Martin’s overtook the threads.


When I was studying writing fiction in college, we learned about the literary devices used to create good, solid stories. Period. No labels. 


Maybe this discussion exists because of the publishing industry’s need to pigeonhole novels into various genres for marketing purposes, but it is counterproductive. We need to be supportive of each other, not rip on people who are trying to further the craft of writing.


And Speaking of Good Writing...
Please join us here on Friday for Sean Sweeney’s take on our Spring Fever theme for "Flash Fiction Fridays." It is going to be a great one.

Comments

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Kelly Hashway said…
I really hate to see writers talking badly about other writers. We need to support each other because only we know how tough this industry is. We have to respect other writers, even if we don't agree with them about something.
Thank you for your discussion - it is needed! I have a blog about the art of writing and I'm not here to publisize it, just pointing out that we need to support excellent writing. Period. What did Roger Rosenblatt call it? An act of rescue.

http://wp.me/NadC
You are absolutely right!There needs to be more solidarity and less un-constructive critism. I agree with Kelly, there needs to be a level of respect for the craft itself.
Thank you for your comments, Kelly, Elizabeth and Stacey. I appreciate you stopping by.
Excellent post, Karen.

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