PICKY STUFF

I saw a cartoon showing a teacher at a blackboard (or was that a whiteboard? Chalkboard? Power point? Maybe an Ipad? Anyway…
A teacher was standing in front of a class of young students and drew this:
😉 She then said, “Yes, a winky face is correct. But in ancient times, the
semicolon was actually used to separate archaic written devices known as “complete sentences.”

Oh, can I identify with that. There are some things that label writers as amateur or professional in the eyes of an agent or editor. We’re told if you’ve been paid a dollar for your writing, you’re a professional.

Therefore, I was a professional until in the past few years when my expertise has become ancient as a result of changes in technology, writing rules, marketing expectations, demands of the business, etc.

A few years ago I had several friends but now I’m expected to have hundreds or even thousands of them and fans and followers. My tweeting consisted of swinging my grandson while making bird sounds. Now I’m supposed to be a social media whiz.

Recently, I even read that this business of writing is not a profession but a condition (thanks to Robert Frost). Wonder if he found that one on the path less traveled.

What I’m getting at is, let’s be patient when seeing mistakes and broken rules in what is written and in the books we read. Technology has changed a lot in just a few years. I’ll be teaching a class on PICKY STUFF at the upcoming Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. We’ll take a look at rules of writing that haven’t changed and discuss what is and is not acceptable or recommended.

We’ll look at the icky…I mean, picky things that are among the rules of the wrong or right way to present our writing, such as format, grammar, punctuation, apostrophes, ellipses, possessives, attributions, beats, passive or active, and words including it, was, and event he little word “the.”

The editor of my last (oops! make that “recent”) book made me realize my characters all had the whooping scoff (that’s another subject). Sigh…so much to worry about.

So, readers, be patient with us as we try to grasp this writing profession. We try so we don’t get those rejections in our E-mail. e-mail? Email? email? Oh, all that stuff makes me onomatopoetically inclined.

It may seem PICKY, but it can mean the difference between Progress or Passé. Are you all up on technology? Am I just…ancient?

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About yvon63

Author of 50 novels. Director of Blue Ridge Christian "Autumn in the Mountains" Novelist Retreat held annually in October, in the panoramic mountains of western North Carolina.
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