I’m going to go out on a limb here and presume that most people online know how to read. And this presumption also lends itself to the idea that those who can read had some form of rudimentary education. So…put your school-brains back into your head and tell me what’s wrong with this:

Devon looked at the thing in his hand “you will never believe this he said to his brother who was sitting just to the left of him and to the right of the TV which was on with the volumn turned down low. His brother did not look up but grunted “yeah whatever and kept looking at the TV even though he probably couldn’t not hear it.

“Its kind of cool Devon said not caring if his brother was not listening. It makes all kinds of noises and lights if you press the right button. Way cool.”

I am not a grammar nazi.

I do not peruse other peoples’ blogs and comment on the way they spell or punctuate. For the most part blogs should be immune to that type of criticism. Especially mine.

However, the above is indicative of a manuscript submission I recently received. The storyline is actually quite good and worthy of publication, but by the time I finish correcting just the basic mistakes my eyes will be bleeding and my head might pop two or three times.

I wouldn’t think much about it if not for the fact that this is a fairly common trait of most manuscript submissions (and I won’t get into the AOL KiddieSpeak SuBmIsSiOnS or we’ll be here all day…) and if it weren’t for the fact that the author of the aforementioned example has a PhD. A doctorate. IN EDUCATION! That means that surely this person has an education.

Doesn’t it?

Honestly, I really don’t care if someone’s personal blog is riddled with punctuation errors (like mine never is… :::cough:::) and misspellings. Blogs are personal and generally conversational; if I can’t read past the run-on sentences and KiddieSpeak, I’ll just move on.

But peoples…if you’re hoping to become a Published Writer--the end product being a real book you can hold in your hand--be sure that the manuscript you submit is something that won’t make a first reader’s head explode. Or make the editor cry two or three times a day while trying to go through it line by line. Most of the time it won’t get past the first reader; if you’re lucky and it does—because the story is that good—the editor is just going to fire it back to you and “suggest” you fix it before re-submitting.

And if you simply don’t grasp the basics of spelling, grammar, etc. ad nauseum, go find your elementary school teachers and kick them in their collective shins, because a grave disservice was wrought upon your education.

I don’t want perfection in submissions.
I just want to be able to read them.

Some of you out there have incredible creative minds, able to weave wonderful stories that suck a reader right into the page…but yeah. Go find those teachers and give ‘em just one quick kick to the shin.

And keep writing…your grammar might suck but your stories do not.

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