USA Today Best of 2012

Monday, September 28, 2009

Things That Suck More Than Mondays

This week's Sucky goes to....

Rules for Rules' Sake.

Yeah, I know we all need law and order and all that. I'm talking grammar and writing rules. Some things are a given, but... well, rules are made to be broken, right? Lone Star Trouble has a lot of Texan dialogue and dialect, which means tons of those dropped "g"s at the end of words such as "talkin", which is Texan for "talking". (conventionally, talkin') And I positively loathed the idea of all those apostrophes cluttering up my book. Every reader who reads Cleve saying, "We're not goin there, Rocky" will know even without the "g" that Cleve means "going".

When I approached the editor initially assigned to this book with my idea of leaving off the apostrophes I got the no-nonsense, "The apostrophes must stay. They are grammatically correct."

Ewww. Remember in the Mummy movies, those under-skin-burrowing beetles? It felt like I had one of those. Just because it's grammatically correct??? Do we not use sentence fragments in commercial fiction? We commit a host of grammatically incorrect faux pas to make the printed word reader-friendly.

Well, this editor (who is a wonderful person and I like very much) ended up taking time off and I got another editor who agreed with my unconventional plan (go Mary, you rock!) and was willing to go to bat for me if need be, but our illustrious Editor-in-Chief also thought the idea worked.

So there you have it: Lone Star Trouble breaks the rules.

Kinda makes me feel all wild and criminal, like maybe I'll break some more rules.... drive up the road and put up everybody's mailbox flag or something...

May your Monday be as suck-less as possible,

Autumn Piper
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