Spelling/Grammar Check, Por Favor

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Spelling/Grammar Check, Por Favor

Post  Ethan Ramey on Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:37 pm

It looks like we have a decent little bit of good writers here, but I personally have one request: check, double-check, and triple-check every post for grammar* and spelling. I understand it's the Internet, but we are collaboratively writing a story, and it should read as much like one as possible.

To give an idea of where I'm coming from: I know most people that see a text message that says "were cn i met u" read it "Where can I meet you?" However, I've always been incapable of that. I read things like they're written, and even the smallest errors can completely pull me out of a story. So when Mr. Pearse is suddenly talking to Boomer, or Claude mentions his tongueu, it requires quite an effort to follow what's happening from that point on, at least for me.

Now everyone makes typos, including myself, but I've gotten in the habit of re-reading my post five or six times before posting it, just to make sure. Not saying everyone needs to be that neurotic, but it wouldn't hurt, either.

*Of course, grammar is entirely excusable when it's dialogue (or monologue) and it's the West.


Last edited by Ethan Ramey on Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Fixing typos (ironic, huh?))
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Re: Spelling/Grammar Check, Por Favor

Post  Jessamine Blake on Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:01 pm

Before I start, be aware that this post contains some Battlestar Galactica spoilers.

Now that that's out of the way, this is a good point. When I read Boomer, I immediately pictured this sweaty little man replaced by Sharon the Cylon from Battlestar Galactica. You can see how this would disrupt the narrative, I'm sure.

Now, while I don't read my writing six times before I post it (because no one should be that neurotic), I do read over things at least once to make sure that I haven't sacrificed the integrity of grammar to my passion for literature.
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Re: Spelling/Grammar Check, Por Favor

Post  Mr. Pearse on Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:49 pm

Point well taken. I'd been thinking of a "Boomer" for our little bank clerk every time I wrote his name, so I'm not surprised one snuck by me. As to simple misspelling, there's not too much excuse; this iteration of phpbb actually draws attention to misspelled words, and (for better or worse) is actually rather aggressive about it.
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Re: Spelling/Grammar Check, Por Favor

Post  Jessamine Blake on Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:12 pm

It's also worth mentioning--since this seems to be the errors and issues thread--that no one in the 1870s was likely to refer to Native Americans as, well, Native Americans. The U.S. hadn't gotten that politically correct yet. So, in the narrative, it's probably best if we all swallow our p.c. pride and call them Indians.

Also, does anyone know which tense we're writing in? Some of us are writing in present tense, which is one of the RP conventions, but many of us are writing in the past tense. This seems to make the narrative read a little more naturally, but it's not necessarily the RP norm. I just think we should come to a decision about which one we'll all write in, in the interest of coherence and flow of the story.

The drawback to decent writers, Mr. Pearse, is that's we're damn nit-picky when it comes to things like this. Twisted Evil
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Re: Spelling/Grammar Check, Por Favor

Post  Ethan Ramey on Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:35 pm

I slightly disagree with that last little bit, Jessamine. I think there are a ton of things that we need to check ourselves on to make the narrative work better, whether it be writing in context, character intros, or simple spelling/grammar. I think I draw the line, however, when you start asking people to write in the same way.

Now, I understand where you're coming from, because it's difficult to read from past to present tense writing, but I also think that it might be more of a hinderance to our writers to ask them to pick and choose. For instance, if we decided to go with present tense (a much more common RP form), then you'd see a great decline in my writing style, because I just can't adapt it to that form. And I'm sure it's vise versa for some people as well.

One thing that may help in reading the narrative is thinking of it more like a book. It holds writers to much higher standards in a lot of ways, but it also accounts for the switch between tenses as it changes character perspectives. I've read a few - a few very - novels that use present tense for some characters, to make them more immediate and raw, and use past tense for others. Not to say I'm a fan of the style, but I can excuse it on an RP site if it helps the members to be better writers.
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Re: Spelling/Grammar Check, Por Favor

Post  Mr. Pearse on Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:08 pm

I think past tense is much more conducive to serious writing, as well as longer RP format. If you look back at the old ToP, a "long" post usually averaged in at about 250 words - so far, our own posts here have averaged well above 500. I prefer past tense and will continue to write in it, and while I'd encourage others to do the same, I don't believe it should be mandatory.
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