I’m looking at it. It’s right here, barely twelve tiny inches from my pointy proboscis, and I’m still not believing it.
“What’s here?” you ask.
Well, let me polish my cheaters while I tell you.
What has me flummoxed is another submission that’s never seen the inside of a spelling or grammar correction program. What’s with you guys? You take the time to write something original, compete with other writers for publication and a little money, and you don’t bother to check spelling and punctuation? Come on, folks! Have you no pride in your work? No self-respect? No shame?
You do realize the probability of whether or not your work is accepted for publication is directly proportional to the amount of effective effort you put into the mechanical aspects of your writing, don’t you? That literary slovenliness is a virtual guarantee of failure? Of course you don’t. Otherwise, you wouldn’t waste your time cluttering P&S’s inbox with first drafts!
You know the Holy Trinity: celery, onions and carrots with lots of butter … . (No, wait a minute. That’s French cooking.)
Ahem! … I mean the Holy Trinity of WRITING: spelling, punctuation and grammar. (Yes, that’s it.) There’s no excuse, in this age of autocorrect, to confuse a comma with a semi-colon, use “that” in place of “which” or misspell any of the six synonyms of the word you meant to use.
Now. If we can all agree to employ that little feature in our word processing programs, we can pay more attention to eliminating passive voice, bland verbs, clichés, and plots that just don’t work.
Thank you for your kind attention. You may return to your writing now.
Fred Waiss is a former high school teacher and coach who writes poetry, articles, short stories, novellas, and novels as the muse attacks; as an author he considers himself a work in progress.