This week provided a fun illustration of why presentation matters, and why you're unlikely to be taken seriously if you don't show a grasp of your craft.
First, an explanation: The weird symbols you see in the following post are meant to befuddle Google's dreaded web spiders so my hit counter doesn't go berserk again.
Second, I admit I'm endlessly amused by the Tw!l!ght books by St*ephenie Meyer. They seem so over-the-top (vegetarian vampires who sparkle in the sun? Yay!), and the fans of the books--mostly teenage girls--are so wrenchingly passionate about the story.
St*ephen King caused an internet stir this week by saying St*ephenie Meyer "can’t write worth a darn." If you read the whole article, you'll note that's the harshest thing he says about her abilities, and the context of that phrase softens its criticism considerably. He also has some balanced and complimentary things to say about Meyer's books, and he dings the writing of heavy hitters like Dean K00ntz and James Patters0n also, so Meyer is in good company.
Now. Remember I said the fans were passionate? Here's a sampling of some amusingly-extreme reactions.
OH MY GOOD LORD RO*WLING NEEDS TO SHUT THAT OVER GAPING HOLE IN HIS FACE ANYONE WHO HATES ON STE*PHENIE ME*YERS & BAD MOUTHS HER MOST AMAZING BOOKS ON THE PLANET IS MY MORTAL ENEMY THAT WAS JUST PLAIN PETULANTLY RUDE OF RO*WLING SOMEONE SHOULD KNOCK HIM OFF HIS HIGH HORSE HOW RUTHLESS AND SAD THAT YOU HAVE TO TRY TO FIND SOMTHING WRONG WITH THE MOST BRILLANT BOOKS EVER WRITTEN (IM PISSED)(Note: Yes, the commenter is unclear both on who insulted Ms. Me*yer (Ste*phen King, not J. K. Ro*wling) as well as J. K. Ro*wling's gender.)
Sarahh. :) wrote:
personally, i think everyone is entitled to there own opinions…kerri wrote:
but i do not agree with Ste*phen King.
it takes a lot for me to like a book, and i havent quite liked the books he wrote(at least the ones that i have read), but he is a good writer.
J.K. Ro*wling is also a good writer, im not a fan of harry potter at all, but she writes well.
I think Ste*phenie is a pretty amazing writer if i do say so myself, but thats just my opnion. but i sorta think Ste*phen King is crazy…
come on, have you read his books?
wow, has he got it wrong. Im 32 years old and the whole thing about twil*ight is that edwards cersion of intimact is so sexual it’s heart pounding. Thats what makes it hot for us females. Not all of us have to jump in the sack, get it over with, and bam…their done. No, i perfer edwards intimacy…and ste*phen king, im a mom of three boys, so im plenty practiced in the sexual stuff.kezzerz wrote:
i LOVE Twi*light and i think the guy was jst a bit jealous. i think that the scenes with the touching and more were really cute!! i think Edward and Bella r cute full stop!! im such a fan of Harry Po*tter bt now its like Twi*light all the way!!! ive read all the books twice. as soon as i was finished the last one i began the first again!!thats how much i love it!! i agree with Juliee that because twi*light is a big part of our lives, it hurts when somebody who does NOT understand this feeling comes here to tell that stuff. we protect what is ours, and twi*light its part of us. and its almost as if people are insulting us for saying crap things about the books.As an aside, I think all this is adorable. I would love to be able to write books that trigger so much fervour with readers! I also think the reaction is hilariously misguided, but that's another story.
Now about presentation...
When someone with almost no ability to spell, punctuate, use the shift key or proper grammar tries to convince you they know better than St*ephen King what constitutes a well-written book, how seriously do you take them?
Exactly. So it's not surprising an agent or editor who sees a manuscript riddled with errors reaches for the form rejection letter. Just as there may be a valid point buried in a misspelled internet post, there may be a great story buried in the typo-dripping manuscript, but the agent/editor assumes if you're not able to write a competent sentence, you're not able to write a competent story.
That isn't fair to people who speak English as a second language or have a reading disability, but I would hope such people are already aware they need to work extra hard to produce a clean manuscript and query letter.