I’m not talking about profanity; I don’t mind that. I’m talking about the poor use of words. Like most writers I’m also an avid reader, and I have to say that I will put down a badly written book even if it’s a great story. I will put it down and I won’t read anything else by that author.

I know what you’re thinking, but you’re wrong. I’m not a pedant or a grammar Nazi. I don’t care if you miss a comma or use a dash instead of a semicolon. I’m talking about poor syntax, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, mixed metaphors, and odd word choices. These are some of the things that will take me out of the story and cause me to turn my back on the author’s work.

I take no pleasure in this; I’m an author, too. I select my words with care; I use grammar check; I use spell check; I have an amazing editor. Despite this, I still make mistakes and I take full responsibility for them. Even though I choose my words with care my writing isn’t perfect. That’s not the point; nobody is perfect. The point is that I have done everything I can, everything that my talent allows, to avoid using bad language because I don’t want my readers to waste their time or money. I don’t want them to turn their backs on me.

 

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