Publishing

Economy of Writing and Grammar Testing

This week we covered a subject I enjoyed, namely the precision, economy, and quality of published writing, and also the necessity of grammar checking. This is an area in which I feel strong operating as I rate my writing ability higher than any other skill I possess, with the possible exception of pitching/public speaking. The grammar test was a simple affair, although I had a difference of opinion on one tiny detail which, in retrospect, was largely inconsequential. In addition to this I enjoyed very much the process of evaluating a first draft book manuscript and editing it down to at least passable content. I found that I was a good deal more ruthless than the actual editor was in getting rid of superfluous and pointless wordage, as well as dealing with elements of the form which were, to be diplomatic, a little fruity. It was helpful to be introduced to the Orwellian and Vonnegutian rules of writing.

I remain slightly disappointed that when asking for a justification for a particular editorial decision all I received by way of an answer was ‘you’re wrong and we’re right’, however this is at the most a minor quibble. It is as much to do with my need to never let anything go until I have a satisfactory answer as anything else. I consider this a strength on my part but I also know that in business sometimes a decision is made and that is that. Fighting over a stray comma is a waste of time given the size of the issue it creates. This lesson was fascinating in terms of an insight into Kevin’s eye for a hit and his desire to succeed in publishing outside of London, an aspiration I too hold. It emboldened me with more courage to singlehandedly attempt to destroy the elite dominance of the industry. It also made up my mind to change the name of my micropress from Pegbag Publishing to Rockbitch Books.

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