Wednesday, May 13, 2009

factNOtum - do your $&%^$ research!

Face it - for every work of genius that gets looked over, there are five million that DESERVE the slush pile.

If I am not your friend, do not inundate my spaces with miserable 'poetry', 'rants', or any other scum deluging from your unpracticed fingers.

I am so sick of 'aspiring writers' who have not taken the time to study the craft.  That firmly believe every slimy bit of doggerel they put on paper is a work of misunderstood genius.

Yes I am published. No, I never had to pay for it. Yes I get paid for it.  

If something doesn't 'click' for me, is it crap? Not indescriminately.  But I've been getting so much that is total garbage to make my head spin.  If it's honest to goodness crap, I will say so(usually in a more pleasant manner). Do not write me back to say that I just don't understand because I've never been there.  It's your job to put me there. *pant pant* And you have no idea what my life has been like anyway.

Please spellcheck your stories.  I spellcheck blogs, you have no excuse. Learn some words. Read the damn dictionary if you must. Learn how to USE the words you know.  Please know the basics of the area you're writing about.  The empire state building is not in Albany.  Nor is the Egg in NYC.  These are major landmarks, and people DO care.  There is not much skiing going on in Virginia in June.

Do some research.  If the killer is using a tommy gun, it's very unlikely a silencer would be used, nor are the chances of being unnoticed very good. Same goes with a colt 45. Yes these are fun distinctive weapons. No, an assasin would not have them.  Nor would the average person be able to hide a claymore under his jacket. (Claymore is basically gaelic for 'big sword'.)  These things tend to be a minimum of five feet long.

It goes on.  A stiletto is a slim dagger with two or three edges traditionally thought of as personal protection or assasination.  It is not another word for switchblade.  One implies elegance that a street thug probably does not posess.

Upstate New York is neither the suburbs, nor Alaska.  Small towns CAN be intellectual.  Not all city people are vapid hustlers(there's a great contradiction right there).

I'm sure there will be more.


  1. Your post makes me feel ever-so-slightly nervous :)

  2. My first comment! YAY! It's wonderful to meet you.

    I didn't mention that the majority of the work featuring GLARING errors also seem to be written by someone who's functionally illiterate.

    Everyone on Earth has a couple of brain-farts, and none so often as a writer pounding out 100,000 words at intermittent intervals. A couple of slip ups are bound to happen, and those can be gone over in the editing process.

    These biggies tend to be headsmackers that somebody with even a passing understanding of the subject would be annoyed about.

    Did I ever tell you about the one that had the Statue of Liberty in Delaware? (NOT an alternate history or SFF manuscript either...)

  3. Your spellchecker missed 'indescriminately'. How embarrassing after that scathing rant.

  4. Heheheheheh! I'm the last person to ever claim to be perfect, plus that's a great example of how spell check may not be perfect (gasp!).
    The point is, that you should at least make an effort to have a fact based and error free MS. Does it always work? Of course not.

    Am I embarrassed? Absolutely not. My effort wasn't perfect - oh no! I'm human! (The aliens will be so disappointed.)

    I'm not embarrassed because I did check, even for a blog.