|Manuscript page from James Joyce's Ulysses Photograph: PA|
Mistakes! Who likes them? Do we need them to become better at what we do? I'd venture to say Theodore Roosevelt would answer yes, judging from this quote:
"The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything."
I've been going in circles about mistakes with my novel writing. As a process-orientated painter I celebrate 'happy accidents'. I wondered, could they serve the same function in my writing?
The editor in me thinks not. The artist disagrees with the editor. We go 'round and 'round.
The issue though is when you try to write in nonstandard English things quickly go haywire. Grammar Check thinks every line contains a mistake. Editors, if not clued in, demolish the draft.
I lived through such a nightmare recently. I'd listened carefully to my character and heard her soft patois coming through. I wrote out what she said as I heard it. Then, I did my editing and sent it to my editor. I loved the formatting she added, and tense corrections. The grammar corrections because of the dialect I was trying to convey, were a complete nightmare.
No darling. It's called dialect.
I know I'm partially guilty about a break in communications. Whether I like it or not exclamation points of the conceptual type must be made - call them being direct, emphatic or whatever. Still, I almost wanted to pull out my already short hair, when I saw the new state of my revised manuscript.
Over the last few days I've been busy making corrections of my own. Editor-free, I'm working hard at letting what seemed to be 'Mistakes!' stand.
Mistakes are in the eye of the beholder.
Notes on my Theme:
This post is written for the 2015 A to Z Challenge. During this challenge, participating bloggers post once a day, in alphabetical order. This is done 6 days per week. Sundays are off. My theme presents words that are exciting. These words serve as thematic motifs in my writing. My theme also revolves around exclamation points. The words I've chosen to explore can replace or stand alone from the dreaded exclamation point, which writers are urged to avoid.