Author Topic: Too much "craft"?  (Read 4603 times)

cmb

  • Guest
Re: Too much "craft"?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2013, 04:54:50 AM »
there was a thread long ago where people said that the way they typed here shouldnt matter that it was theyre writing that mattered and not the impression it created

Blimey, Wolfe! What happened? Are you ill?  :o   ;) 


Those missteps do matter. As far as correspondence, professional or otherwise, it's how we judge how seriously to take the author or writer in question.

Agreed. One hundred percent - and more if that were possible.


There is no such thing as too much 'craft', but there's plenty of lazy and sloppy to go around. Presentation is the first thing everyone notices. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you and themselves.

This is so true. I cannot help it, but I have a hard time taking any writer who mucks up his grammar, spelling, and punctuation, seriously. In fact, I write these people off. If they can't be arsed to write properly, then I can't be arsed to read their shit stuff.


I believe in the purity of language and cringe with each typo or grammatical error I see whether it is mine or someone else's. I proofread and check and look again and then I find another little mistake.

I'm like that, too. And let me stress this: I hate my own mistakes more than anyone else's.


I love English, as it was called in my day. Not saying I am spot on every time but I give it half a go and I don't like it when I send a message or make a post with a spelling error.

English. I've been in love with the language ever since I first heard it spoken on TV, when I was a little girl. Back in the days of black and white television. And no, unfortunately, I'm not always spot on either. I wish I were. Heck, I even manage to muck up my Dutch from time to time.  :o


Bird I will give you my comparison, ask me to do a simple math problem, man oh man, I don't see the point in that stuff. Hell, how can x = y anyway?  :o :o

Say that to someone good at math, maybe your hubby, and listen to the argument on that side of the coin.  ::)

Are you talking about my hubby, FF?  :D

(BTW, I did work out what my main problem with maths is: logic. It's all those laws, rules and formulas. My math teachers used to insist on telling me that the problems they gave us to work on, all obeyed those laws and rules. But that isn't exactly true. Logic suggest that it's the other way round. Those laws and rules are descriptive. Archimedes and his friends noticed certain things, which they described and then summed up in a so-called law. It's not really a law at all. But that's all OT.)


As for the original question, here's what happens at my place. When my hubby writes something and asks me to look it over, I know what he wants. He wants me to check for SPAG issues, which is what I do. I tell him what to change, and when he sends off his e-mail or letter, we're both happy.

Have you ever simply asked your hubby what he would like you to look for when he asks you to read one of his e-mails?

Offline Gyppo

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 72244
  • I've been writing ever since I realised I could.
Re: Too much "craft"?
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2013, 08:33:30 AM »
I think it's ok to spell however you want as long as the other part is ok with it. In this case, it's just an e-mail to a friend, right? So as long as they don't mind bad spelling and grammar, why does it matter to everyone else?

If you know what you're doing isn't it easier to just apply the same consistent standard to all your writing?  My girls often joke about how 'proper' my English is in text messages.  I will abbreviate when I need to get a lot into the character limit, but they say it's like reading something from an alien.

If I sent them a ransom note saying 'pls brng 5000 csh 2 sve my lif' the kidnappers would probably kill me because the girls wouldn't think it was genuine.

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Wolfe

  • Guest
Re: Too much "craft"?
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2013, 10:58:04 AM »
As a writer, you should take every opportunity to hone and polish your word craft. I don't care if it's a correspondence between you and Santa Claus. Use it. Every word you write is one more step closer to becoming the writer you need to be in order to make it.

Words are our craft.

Would you take a painter seriously if he or she said, "Yes, I only paint professionally when I know people will look at my work. Otherwise, I just doodle stick figures."

If so, you're not a writer. You're a hobbyist and wannabe. And know that's what you tell the community.

Offline Gyppo

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 72244
  • I've been writing ever since I realised I could.
Re: Too much "craft"?
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2013, 11:37:44 AM »
I remember reading somewhere that it takes six weeks (at least) to form a habit, and only two days to unlearn it.   

This is one of the reasons I like to write something every day.  If circumstances keep me away from the keyboard for a couple of days everything feels so wrong and clumsy.  That which is usually as instinctive as breathing requires conscious effort for a couple of hours before it becomes truly 'routine' again.

The mixture of stiff and still reasonably supple fingers resulting from arthritis has played merry hell with my touch typing so I'm currently using a kind of hybrid between touch typing and looking at the keys , using mainly four fingers and thumbs on the space bar.  As a result of this I hit adjoining keys, like 'p' and 'o' more often than I'd like.  But that's when the spell checker really earns its keep.

If the forthcoming treatment gives me back full flexibility I know there'll be even more mistakes for a while as I 'unlearn' the bad but temporarily necessary habits which the last year or so has forced upon me.  Relearning touch typing will probably only add about 10 wpm to my steady average, but the reduction in errors and corrections will be worth far more than that.

The point is, I'm aware of the problem and generally deal with it.  Sometimes when I'm tired the mistakes slip through, but they leap off the page at me the next day.  But that's no good if I've already emailed the message to someone else, is it?

You may want/need to gag the Internal Editor at the creative stage, but before anyone else sees your work, editing and proofing are your two best friends.  Like washing pans after cooking, you know it makes sense.

Gyppo 
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline Gyppo

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 72244
  • I've been writing ever since I realised I could.
Re: Too much "craft"?
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2013, 11:40:57 AM »
As a writer, you should take every opportunity to hone and polish your word craft. I don't care if it's a correspondence between you and Santa Claus.

I imagine he wouldn't be too impressed by a letter beginning 'Deaf Satan', but the spell checker wouldn't turn a hair.

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

cmb

  • Guest
Re: Too much "craft"?
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2013, 11:46:07 AM »
Would you take a painter seriously if he or she said, "Yes, I only paint professionally when I know people will look at my work. Otherwise, I just doodle stick figures."

I see my daughter, the art student at work. Her teachers adore her and keep telling her at every evaluation how much talent she has and how amazing her drawings are.

Let me tell you what she does in her free time. She draws. She draws a lot. In fact, she spends most of her free time drawing, trying to get better at her craft.

Oh, and she "doodles" from time to time, when she's on the phone. Even her doodles look like proper drawings to my amateur eye.

Would I take her seriously if she were doodling away her free time? And more importantly, would her teachers be as impressed with her work if she did? I think we all know the answer.


So, to get back to writing: this is our craft and we should practice it - and take our practice seriously, or we could just as well  give up and become full time hamburger sellers at MacTreif.

Offline Annmarie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3526
  • Got my kinky boots on. Watch out!
Re: Too much "craft"?
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2013, 12:34:25 PM »
'Deaf Satan'

Isn't that a punk band?  :D

I don't think you can ever practise your craft too much. Unless you lose your job and family because you're writing instead of living life every once in a while. After all, you need something to write about.

I don't waste time editing FB posts or personal emails, though I do tend to do a quick edit. That's nothing like the fine-tooth, repeat edits I do on every paragraph of my fiction and nonfiction. I sometimes edit posts on MWC many times, though.
Work hard. Believe. Take a chance.

Offline junel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 938
Re: Too much "craft"?
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2013, 01:45:33 PM »
I tend to watch my grammar when I'm writing anything other than my craft, I guess it's become habit. But I wouldn't think less of anyone who let their grammar slip in informal communication, an email between friends say, or on Twitter or Facebook. Occasionally, however, I will be too lazy to reach for the shift or caps key to capitalize a word. Guilty! But not today though.  :D

Jo Bannister

  • Guest
Re: Too much "craft"?
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2013, 05:17:40 AM »
We've all got something to say on this, haven't we?  Which suggests that we all recognise it as an important issue.

Yes, I think that it's important to us as professionals to get the basics - those things that are either right or wrong - right.

And yes, I also think it's possible to let the mechanics of writing get in the way of writing.

Finally, it's not what we think as writers that counts.  It's not even what our publishers' editors think.  It's what the consumer thinks - the reader, who's put down his hard-earned cash, or at least spent his valuable time going to the library.  He's the one we have to satisfy.  And I suspect that some of our discussions would leave him banging his head on his Oxford English Grammar in frustration. 

Which writers do you suppose he prefers - those who make sure every comma is exactly where the book says it should be, never mind if it twists the sentence into a pretzel, or those who know when taking liberties with the rules is not only permissable but desirable in the interests of a flowing and comprehensible narrative?

Perhaps we all have our lines in the sand - those infringements we cannot tolerate.  But let's keep our eyes on the prize here - we want to be read, and we want to be enjoyed.

Offline Spell Chick

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 49353
  • Choose well
    • Little Bits of History
Re: Too much "craft"?
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2013, 09:06:07 AM »
I love to use incomplete sentences for effect. There are many places on this forum where we talk about knowing the rules and knowing when to break them. Although there are pedants everywhere, I think most of us realize that while rules are good to know, having a boundary means we know when we crossed over - not that we never cross.
Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

cmb

  • Guest
Re: Too much "craft"?
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2013, 10:36:00 AM »
I love to use incomplete sentences for effect. There are many places on this forum where we talk about knowing the rules and knowing when to break them. Although there are pedants everywhere, I think most of us realize that while rules are good to know, having a boundary means we know when we crossed over - not that we never cross.

Exactly. And yes, I do that too - using incomplete sentences for effect. Or starting a sentence with a conjunction. See how many rules I just broke?  ;D

Offline McWawa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4417
Re: Too much "craft"?
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2013, 11:46:22 AM »
As a writer, you should take every opportunity to hone and polish your word craft. I don't care if it's a correspondence between you and Santa Claus. Use it. Every word you write is one more step closer to becoming the writer you need to be in order to make it.

Words are our craft.

Would you take a painter seriously if he or she said, "Yes, I only paint professionally when I know people will look at my work. Otherwise, I just doodle stick figures."

If so, you're not a writer. You're a hobbyist and wannabe. And know that's what you tell the community.

I am pleased to read your emphasis and acknowledgment of this point. This is ought be a sticky.

Bryan
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 12:10:30 PM by Yelnick McWawa »
"Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?",
Axel Oxenstierna

Offline The Dude Abides

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 362
  • terrancebramblett.wordpress.com
Re: Too much "craft"?
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2013, 12:06:58 PM »
I am also one of the SPaG freaks. Not that I don't make mistakes. But for some reason, I see others errors easier than I do my own. But as soon as I see a piece where the author asks that no one comment on the spelling or grammar, only the content, I know to skip it.

I often remember a newspaper article or story more for the errors than for the content. I believe it is OK to go outside the boundaries as long as you know the right way and are doing it for a purpose. Dialog, for example. In real life, people talk over each other and step on sentences. Sometimes written dialog streams look stilted because the participants wait patiently until the speaker has finished before throwing their oar in.
"Little red wagon
Little red bike
I ainít no monkey but I know what I like"
                 Buckets of Rain, Bob Dylan