Dishing Junk – The act of dispensing ideas of little value in a casual or silly manner.

Can we come to a mutual agreement? You can’t edit your own material. You should see the crap that gets past me with just blog posts…because I don’t think it is feasible to hire an editor to check through all my monotonous slop that I pour out on this site. But, for a book – um yeah – you should probably get it edited. And edited by a professional that specializes in your particular specialty. I know it’s expensive – I know it is a risk…but c’mon have a little faith in your work. But, for those of you that don’t really care – just type it all out, check over it once and then hit publish — this is how I figure it out quickly. And this is why you’ll find a lot more very low reviews gracing your buy pages…

Multiple-Personalities or Character Identity Crisis?

At the beginning of the book the hero was a fireman with long dark hair and piercing green eyes, by the end of the book he was a policeman with it cut high-and-tight. WTF is it a different guy? Nope, the author probably wrote half the book five years ago, shelved it and then picked it up and didn’t pay attention to details. And this happens a lot! I’ve read some self-published books where the main character changes their age, changes spelling of the name and one where it seemed she got amnesia and had turned into a completely different character. Hell an outline and detailed character profile would have solved this problem. Stick a post-it note to your monitor with a “picture” of your character at least…we won’t judge if you have some guy’s head pasted over the image you tore out of the hot fireman calendar!

Who’s head am I in?

If you asked the author what POV their book was written in, they would respond “ALL OF THEM!” And I would run screaming – “No no no!!” Some authors can get away with switching from 1st person to 3rd person, I’ve seen this done with the villain in the 3rd person and the narration in the hero or heroine’s 1st person voice. I don’t ever think it’s a great idea though then, I usually consider it cheating. But, you know it’s wrong when the book is just switching back and forth from different POVs without any plan. This is the quickest way to leave me confused and crying for my momma.

Wardrobe Malfunctions

The scene is set, it’s summer in New York City. If anyone has been to NYC in the summer they know – it’s HOT! – why is the heroine wearing sweats and a hoodie? Yes, I understand that there are some really screwed up people that run around in the middle of summer in winter clothes. I see about two or three a season and I usually turn to my husband, or whoever is standing next to me and go “That person is a @&*#! lunatic. It’s 100 degrees out here and they are wearing a leather jacket!” You probably didn’t want me to think your character was a lunatic right? Unless she was intended to be a lunatic – then I would probably get the wardrobe. But, in any other situation this raises a red flag. I just had a twitter convo with an author and we were discussing a soon to be released book with this problem. It sticks out.

Spell Check Ain’t Yo Editor

I can not bear it every time their is a mention of an author using spell check to edit there novel. But hay, they think they no best, so who am I too judge? And their is all ways Word Grammar Check, write? I guess I shouldn’t hold it against you’re novel.

What Chapter am I in?

I think we just jumped from chapter 12 to 14? Are we in an elevator or a book?? This does happen…whole chapters have been missing in some self-published novels that I’ve read – or maybe the author forgot to mention that we jumped into a time-machine and fast forwarded a few scenes.

I missed that…

I find this happens in dialogue a lot and this is something that happens in all books – from all walks of publishing life.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” he said with fervor.

So, I moved on and began doing my own thing. Dancing, laughing and just hanging out. Finally he walked up to me and for the first time tonight spoke, “I like your socks.”

Technically, uh that was the second thing he said…

These are all sorts of things that I have come across in novels and not just self-published novels. There are some really bad editors out in the world that give authors a bad name. Cause frankly, writers, you can’t catch it all. That’s 90,000 words…that is a lot of words that you have poured over for YEARS. You are not going to catch them all. That is why the goddess invented editors. To fix your @#%!. But, when you nix the edits, don’t be grumpy when the snark comes out.

 

Rachel Rivera