on Dec. 6, 2017 :
Two useful sets of notes bound up together here - a quick zip through common errors, and then a collection of useful hints and prompts regarding structure and the logistics of writing.
Having suffered a comprehensive school education, I rely in the main on my sense of language, developed over years of reading well-written English, to inform my writing. Inevitably, mistakes creep in. How much better to have a clear source to turn to in case of doubt. There are many, but this one brings extra value for its no-nonsense tone and its focus on the toiling wannabee author sitting alone in front a screen somewhere, in need of stern guidance. Not for snowflakes: "this is unacceptable .. this vile practice .. this will make you go blind .. you should be shot ..." And quite right too.
Even if you are sure your grammar is flawless (it isn't), there is something for you here. I found the advice on not wasting the reader's energy on 'sequencing glitches' enlightening.
As collection of blog posts, there is some overlap between articles, but then points about intransitive laying about and punctuation within quotes bear repeating.
I'm off to check my metaphorical underwear is clean, and then get back to some careful writing.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
M. A. McRae
on Dec. 1, 2017 :
I wish this book was required reading for all authors, especially those ones who self-publish, some few of whom seem to see grammar, punctuation and spelling as of far less importance than those of us of an older generation who had the benefit of good English teachers. I have heard it said that people don’t care any more about the odd misplaced apostrophe. Some see this carelessness as not a problem. I see it as a big problem. Changing punctuation can make a sentence mean something entirely different.
Quite obviously, this author feels the same. She speaks of punctilious attention to detail, and she says, ‘A lot of this may seem like extra work. Why be so painstaking about your grammar? Why so obsessive about getting your facts right?’
and ‘That’s a judgement call that only you can make. But remember, once you hit ‘publish’, it’s all out of your hands. You do not get to take the reader by the hand and explain that you are a single mum and just didn’t have time for proofreading in between looking after the baby, or that being pernickety about apostrophes just means you’re a grammar Nazi. People are going to be reading your book without any further input from you. There are no opportunities for you to excuse anything, or explain anything, or demand special consideration. The work is going to speak for itself, and the only time you have any control over what it will say is before publication.’
The book itself is impeccable in its presentation. I recommend it.
(reviewed the day of purchase)