Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Save Our Spelling

(If You Want to Write...)

I love emailing with other teen writers (if I didn't, what would I be doing here?) But what breaks my e-heart as I read their questions and suggestions is not their content (which is always good) but their spelling.

Why is this such a big deal? Publishing is a business about words. We string words, make words, invent words, play with words, sell words and buy words. And spelling is as fundamental to good word usage as running is to any sport. Can't run, can't play. Can't spell, can't write.

Now, spelling should never get in the way of a fantastic story; don't stop writing just because "necessity" makes your head spin. But make plans to improve your spelling before you aim for publication. Always use Spell Check and another reader if spelling is a problem.

You can have the greatest idea in the world but if you can't spell, no editor will ever read your stuff. What if Ian McEwan didn't learn how to spell? I wouldn't have just watched the incredible Atonement movie... and realized I missed a huge plot twist when reading the same story...


Anonymous said...

Then again, they always add new twists to the movies. Atonement was a beautiful movie - but so sad! I'm a happy ending kind of girl.

P.S. Hope you don't mind that I quoted you in my blog!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Gabrielle - just wanted to say I saw your article in the FFW Small Markets Newsletter - great job, by the way!