Sunday, January 6, 2013

Editorial Defense: Why I trashed Grammatical Rules

Bad reviews and negative feedback on my work don’t bother me in the least bit.  I’m not so egotistical to think that I’m going to write a book that will be universally loved by each and every person who reads it.  People have varying tastes and that is exactly how it should be; the world would be an extremely dull and lackluster place if we all had the same opinions.  The being said, I want to clarify something about The Seven Habits.  In doing so, I’m not defending myself or my writing but my editor.

Some people have commented that the editing is inconsistent due to frequent changes in verb tense during Bosley’s narrative, sometimes even switching tenses multiple times in a single sentence.  However, this does not in any way reflect on the skills of my editor.  I had written Bosley’s chapters that way intentionally and advised Permuted Press and the editor of this upfront… and I would have fought tooth and nail to keep those inconsistencies in place if I had to.

What you have to keep in mind is that Bosley is dimensionally unstable.  At any point, he can be spontaneously pulled through the Eye of Aeons with no control over where he ends up.  It might be hundreds of years into the past or future, it may be a matter of just a few days, hours, or minutes.  For him, time is no longer linear.  It does not go from Point A to Point B to Point C and so on, but is more like a young child’s crayon scribblings on a wall.  He’s pulled through time so often, in fact, that it’s taken a toll on his memory (which depends upon time being measured in a linear fashion).

For a person like Bosley Coughlin, he can never be entirely certain whether something he is talking about has already happened, is happening, or is yet to come.  As the author, I made a stylistic decision to throw the rules of grammar out the window in his chapters.  The way a person talks is a subtle reflection of the way that person thinks and I wanted his narration to embody the confusing mess his mind had become.  Personally, I don’t see this as being much different than the way he uses archaic words and phrases as naturally as he does modern slang.

I tried to keep the tense changes as subtle as possible, but if this decision completely grates on your nerves, blame me… not the editor.  She did a wonderful job on this book and I would love to have the opportunity of working with her again.

That is all.

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