In the past, I have written about the importance of the author maintaining her or his voice, despite the pressures of self-appointed grammarians. Today, I am going to give an example of an author who makes those grammarians crawl right out of their skin. I belong to a few author and writer groups on social media. I check them out from time to time, and occasionally, post links to my books or blog. Every so often, I will comment on someone’s post or question. Overall, my interactions are limited.
Even with such minimal interaction, one thing I have noticed, in addition to rampant insecurity over their own writing(s), is an abundance of self-righteous indignation from self-anointed, grammarian gatekeepers. The first answer to many questions is the need to shell out hard earned cash for a good editor. Most in these groups are independent, self-published authors to whom cash is a valuable and limited commodity. As I have written in The Author’s Voice, I am not a huge fan of editors. Even the great Ernest Hemingway would only allow editing for spelling and punctuation (and this he often ignored).
Most of these academically inclined individuals are stuck in an elementary school English class, sentence diagramming mindset. They are so concerned with “The Elements of Style,” that they miss the primary goal of storytelling – to tell a good story. They are so stuck in their academically inclined utopia that they ignore the talent and ability of those who craft creative and compelling tales.
Case in point, E.L. James.
No one author’s name causes the sphincters of these anal retentive soul sucking hoards to clamp more tightly shut than hers. Honestly, if you stick a charcoal briquette up one of their asses and mention her name, in about five minutes you will have one valuable diamond.
I have never read her stories, but I know many who have, and they love them. Some of them do make mention of her grammar, but that didn’t stop them from reading and buying and then purchasing tickets to the movies.
Here’s the rub, instead of whining on social media about what perceived skills other writers lack, E.L. James simply went about the endeavor of telling a story. In the process, she has accomplished what all of us who put word to paper deeply desire – people read her story.
Oh, and a side note, along the way she managed to increase her net worth to a reported ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS!
Imagine what she could have accomplished had she listened to the grammarian guardians of the galaxy. And yes, to you persnickety punctuating perfectionist – that is sarcasm!