Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ponderings from the other side

The "other" side is the real world, not the internet. After my last post on the blog (long, long ago) I spent some time cruising around the internet, kind of sightseeing on what is out there for writers and what other editors are doing on the internet to interact with writers. I was looking for gaps, things writers might find interesting but they won't find easily. Something...uh...valid, you know?

Sigh.

There is a lot of disinformation, misrepresentation, narrow-minded opinion stated as fact, ego inflation, and just plain ugliness out there.

It made me stop and wonder why I couldn't find "popular" blogs from of the better writers and editors I know. No, actually, it made me stop and wonder why I couldn't find any blogs at all from the great writers and editors I know.

Did you ever stop to wonder how a hugely successful, professional, high-powered editor or agent has the time to maintain a busy, followers-hanging-off-every-word blog? That's what I wondered about. I don't know much about agents, but real world editors who work for publishing houses are chasing their own tails off just trying to keep up. They sleep with manuscripts and write backjacket copy during breakfast.

So, I pulled back, edited some fine manuscripts, signed two publishing contracts for short fiction of my own to be included in trade anthologies, and contemplated how entirely different the actual, face-to-face world of publishing and editing is compared to the one plastered on the internet.

Writers really need to know that 99% (just my impression here, I didn't, like*do* a statistical survey) of the wisdom doled out on blogs, writers' forums and self-proclaimed "editors" websites aren't the reality of the publishing world. Real editors don't make fun of the manuscripts they are editing. Real publishers don't hire editors who plaster the internet with "inside" stuff about clients. Real editors know what a participial phrase is and aren't terrified of passive voice. They even know what it is, and it isn't the use of the "to be" verb. :-(

I've made a vow to myself to find some representation of the "real" thing on the internet. And when I do, I'll be sharing it with you.

So, here's my question for you folks.

What is it that you want to know?

I've opened an email account for the blog. Feel free to spam me with questions (just kidding...spam goes to spam purgatory where the little buggers spend the rest of eternity trying to sell each other HUGE members, more pleasure, or phony watches...the get-rich-quickers go straight to hell).

So, here's the email address: punctuateitblog@gmail.com

Anything to do with grammar, punctuation (see the blog title for a hint :-) ), editing, publishing, dog grooming or astrophysics is okay. See, I'm getting the hang of the Internet. I can be anything I want. :-)

Seriously. Ask away.

Until then, I'll post something later this weekend on commas, since the last three manuscripts that I had edited (I mean, ones I wrote and that were edited by the publisher's copy editor) had a lot of comma suggestions in them. :-) That's a euphemism for "mistakes." And I'm an editor. We all make 'em, folks. So much easier to see other people's little screw ups, though. :-)

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