In the iconic cartoon strip â€˜Peanuts,â€™ Lucy van Pelt explains how one needs to be careful to hold the bat with the trademark in a certain position so itâ€™s not damaged by the ball. She maintains that hold on the bat while the pitcher sends one…two…three balls right past her and sheâ€™s struck out. As she leaves the plate, she brags to Charlie Brown â€œSee, I held the bat the right way and itâ€™s fine!â€ Poor Charlie Brown. How often do we feel like Lucy, being so careful to follow every rule of writing. To Show Not Tell; NEVER Head Hop; ALWAYS identify our speaker. And so on. Only to find a head hopping sloppily written book is burning up the Amazon sales. Why? And why isnâ€™t your perfectly written book selling well? If I knew the answer Iâ€™d be busting all those Amazon sales figures myself. We could blame luck. We could blame the fickleness of the reading public. Or we could take a step back and analyze what people read for. Except for writers, how many people actually read to critique the written word? Sure theyâ€™ll comment on an author changing their characterâ€™s name (or sex!) halfway through the book. But as long as a reader can believe in the requisite HEA the rest is all window dressing. Iâ€™m not suggesting we abandon the rules of grammar. Nor should we blow Point of View out of the water (darnit). But maybe we who worry about every misplaced participle and perfect use of punctuation need to worry first about the worlds we build, and the people who live in them. Then we can paint the fences awesome colors and polish the sidewalks until they gleam. Maybe we need to swing for a bases loaded home run, and risk cracking the bat.
Mona Karel writes books for Monica Stoner and when no one is looking she roll your eyes back in your head from trying to follow the head hopping.
BTW, thereâ€™s still time to participate in the Secret Santa Blog Hop, and who wouldn’t like to find this guy coming down their chimney? Grand Prize is a Kindle Fire, next is an Amazon gift card, plus a lot of other goodies. Many of the participants offer individual prizes on their blog. Iâ€™m sharing the secret to home made vanilla extract, complete with pictures, plus other prizes. Thatâ€™s at Mona’s Final Secret Santa Blog
You need to head to Tabitha Blake’s to gather up lots of chances for those prizes, and thatâ€™s here: Blog Hop Central From Tabithaâ€™s blog you can hop out to the other participants, some of whom are OCC members.
Oh yeah, those forums! It's one of my favorite places to chuckle, cause some of those mistakes are accidentally funny. It's when we worry about the grammar FIRST and ignore our characters that I think interferes with our creative selves. And we end up rewriting that first chapter forever instead of getting on with the story. And yeah, my Kindle is full of head hopping books and I love every one of them! Thanks for the read and reply and the Tweet!
on December 22, 2012
Sometimes readers really, really do care! Ever see some of those flames on self-pubbed books with spelling/grammar errors? Ouch.
That said, I know some well-known, best-selling authors with head hopping aplenty! I buy them, too!
Thanks for the topic!
on December 19, 2012
Good point about readers not looking for grammatical or writing perfection. I guess the important thing is to give the readers characters they can care about, one way or another, and tell a really good story. Sounds so simple, but it's so hard to do. 😉