readers’ expectations

Says Kristen Lamb in her blog (titled, conveniently, Kristen Lamb’s Blog), “Readers expect a good book. They expect proper grammar, punctuation and formatting that doesn’t look like it was performed by a sloth with a severe Valium addiction. These are basic, fundamental expectations…and they no longer impress people all that much.”

This is encouraging; it means that the esoteric art of using end punctuation is not yet entirely dead.  However, I cannot help but wonder, Where are these people who EXPECT proper grammar, punctuation and formatting?  Are these fundamental expectations only for readers of highfalutin’ Literary Fiction, or are there also a lot of readers of SF/F, for example, who still give a rodent’s backside about a story being readable?

Did I ever mention that one reviewer actually commented on how well In Siege of Daylight was edited?  On one hand, I was pleased to see that, since I’m the person who edited it.  🙂  On the other hand, I was a bit disheartened, because good grammar and punctuation shouldn’t stand out as unusual.


About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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One Response to readers’ expectations

  1. Jessica S says:

    *Raises hand, waving.* Over here! Over hear! I’m one of those close-to-extinct readers who expect good grammar and syntax! 😉


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