You Cannot Please Everyone: When I first began seriously writing back in 1995, I wish I had adopted what I like to refer to as the constant editing technique at the time. But since then, I was yet to be published.
What can I tell you – after almost eighteen years of writing, I have finally found a process that works for me. Each word is not only spelled correctly, but its particular version is also carefully selected via the process of working through the Oxford English Dictionary, plus utilizing the method of synonyms by right-clicking on a word offers you a choice of alternatives.
As an example of which form is correct for a given circumstance within any sentence, I give you earth instead of Earth. Both conditions are proper according to the OED, but the earth is the usually accepted form.
I finally decided to adopt the technique last year while writing my last eBook novella, The Forgotten Age. I’m glad I did. Apart from reducing the errors to an absolute minimum, bearing in mind that no book is ever totally error-free, it also ensures that the darned Goodreads and Amazon trolls, plus the odd one or two individuals who love to find fault, tend to refrain from voicing their opinion in the form of a one-star review on either site.
But no matter how meticulous your approach may be, you have to be prepared for those people who absolutely hate your work. In Forgotten’s case, one individual posted the following on the United Kingdom’s Amazon site:
“Perhaps one of THE worst books in the history of literature…..this history or any other! I WANT MY MONEY BACK! Any Egyptian national would be offended by this book, and any person of average or above intellect (clearly not the author) would be offended by this book. Even within the realms of fantasy, this “work” would NOT be considered worthy or considered at all. Perhaps it should come with a clearly stated warning that readers beware of impending rubbish upon purchase? Have I already said I WANT MY MONEY BACK!? And while we are doing that, please can I have all references of this book cleansed from my memory? I will even put thought to a financial contribution to the author never self-publishing any future “works” as clearly this would benefit humankind’s future.”
Did you see his obvious errors – lack of a capital letter E in Egyptian and a lower case I, plus the totally incorrect use of block capital letters, not to mention how he drew attention to the word’s work and works? Face it, folks, you cannot please everyone, no matter how hard you try.
You can take a look at his review for yourself if you go to my UK Amazon author page and click on Forgotten’s cover. The above example clearly demonstrates why Amazon and its satellite site Goodreads, should never allow ordinary individuals to review any book, now or in the future. Fortunately, the positive reviews far exceed his and those of a couple of other disgruntled individuals.
Returning to this post’s main thrust about adopting the constant editing technique, It would not suit most writers as it drastically slows down the whole writing process, particularly the prolific in our ranks. By using it, you can forget about any form of daily word count target, something that many new and seasoned writers think is the be-all and end-all to getting that next book out there into book land.
Since adopting the technique, I’m lucky if I write a paragraph each day before editing. Back in 1995, I would have been thoroughly disappointed. No longer…