I have had people criticize my work for breaking conventional rules of writing and grammar. Sometimes, these notes are accurate, and I make corrections.
Often, however, they are given by those who believe themselves superior to others. These over analytical people are more concerned with picking out the placement of a comma or a semicolon, than actually understanding and enjoying the story. Sadly, these self-appointed, exalted grammarian gatekeepers would waste a day at the beach studying a droplet of water and miss out on the majesty that is the ocean.
On my Amazon author page, I state clearly —
“I’m a storyteller, one who uses the written word to tell tales. I am not a professional essayist nor English professor. My grammar is not always perfect, and my sentence structure not always correct. To me, what is most important, all that is important, is the story.”
I have had been contacted by those who would like to edit my work and maintain “My Author’s Voice.” What gives rise to curiosity is — How do you know my voice if you haven’t read my works? If you haven’t gotten to know me? If you don’t know or understand the story I am trying to tell?
Imagine if those anal-retentive, punctuating perfectionist exercised their influence over the works of of the late great neo-expressionist artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. If you don’t know Basquiat’s work, have an open mind when you google it, because to the closed minded, tight-assed perfectionist, the genius of his work is completely lost.
However, if he had an over-bearing English professor type bully hovering over his shoulder, what would he have become? Instead of groundbreaking art, what would he have been pigeonholed into creating, if he would have created anything at all?
In my stories. If I over use commas, it is because I want the reader to slow down and take in a certain part of the story. If I use run on sentences, it is because I want the reader to quicken his or her pace. If I use sentence fragments, it is because at that point in the story, the character is fragmented, and I want to convey that to the reader using the narrative. If, instead of listing things with only commas, I use and over use “and” it is because I want the reader to place emphasis upon each idea I am conveying.
However, for some reason, there are those who not only seek to curtail creativity and unique storytelling, but flat out deny the author these freedoms. Perhaps, no there is no perhaps — it is time for Authors to claim their own voice!!!!
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