Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by midnight_tiptoes, Oct 17, 2004.
Thanks so much for this !
I wrote a very similar guide to this one for a girl I was betaing for a while back. I'd point out all of those mistakes over and over agian and she simply wouldn't learn, so finally I spent two hours and wrote a guide like that one and told her to use it before she sent me any work. She hasn't sent me anything since.
Why is it so hard to use good judgement when it comes to grammar?
I guess it depends on how you told her: If you were mean and she felt humiliated, then i can understand her reaction. If not , i guess she just felt hurt by your judgement.
See i'm not english, i'm french and i make lot of mistakes but i wouldn't mind if you're telling me my english isn't that good as long as you're saying it properly.
Well the problem was that I was working with her for several months before I got frustrated. I would tell her after looking every single chapter of every single story that you "use capitol letters at the beginning of people's names" or that "you end a sentence with punctuation like !, ., or ?" and she just wasn't getting it. It was becoming very tiresome to tell her the same things over and over thus I made her the guide and sent it to her telling her that she should use it before sending me her work. It was always rife with mistakes like an AIM conversation. My philosophy is that you should write your stories, even fan fiction, as though you want your teacher to grade them. I asked her not to give me chapters until she thought her teacher would give her a passing grade. I was trying to teach her how to use good grammar, spelling, and to teach her about characterization.
There comes a time when you just have to be like "enough" and move on from one person. Everyone else I've ever worked with has learned a lot from having a beta. Betas aren't there to fix all of your mistakes but to help you learn what areas you need to be stronger in and to pick up on the few human errors we all make. You can't expect to be perfect when you're typing 100 words a minute on a keyboard can you?
I don't know I may not have been nice enough but I really did try to help and she really just didn't grasp it. It wasn't a case of not understanding English either, I mean, it was her first language. English is my boyfriend's second language and even he is more receptive to my helping him learn about spelling and grammar. Then again he is a really smart guy, and he and I talk all the time so we understand each other pretty well.
I don't know... you're probably right that I wasn't nice enough, but I try to kill everyone with kindness. I didn't say it like "do this or else don't come back." It was more like "hey I made this guide for you, please refer to it and check your work before you send me any new chapters." I figured she could use all the help she could get as far as writing was concerned... I thought something like that would help her out even in school and other real life things like that.
Not so much a question; more of a query really. Does it matter to people if we use English spellings as opposed to American ones? As an Eng-land-er, I use spellings such as 'centre' and 'characterisation' instead of 'center' and 'characterization' It's a really hard habit to break when it doesn't really affect the way you read. Obviously I've altered certain words in order to make the story fit into a US setting, for example, saying freeway (or is it highway?) instead of motorway etc...
Just wondering what people think
Actually, I understand your frustration: she could at least have thank you for the guide. I mean, I would love having one (btw if you still have it huh ). If she really didn't make effort, then i guess you were patient enough with her and you couldn't do anything more. Besides when people ask for a beta reader, they should know that they're gonna be criticize (on grammar of course).
Regarding the UK/US difference, i don't mind if you're using UK words: in France we are learning UK language so i'm more customed of "centre" (which is the same word in french) than "center". So I really really don't mind
Well it's in the past anyway... and I'll see if I can dredge up that guide for you, I made it few months ago so it's probably still on my computer.
I enjoyed reading through your guide. I tend to be pretty good with grammar and I still found it helpful. I don't suppose you could edit it to add a section on the proper use of "me" and "I." I find the misuse of these words to be particularly jarring. Nothing grates on my nerves like reading something like this: "There was nothing going on between Jack and I."
I read through the guide and don't remember seeing information on this particular issue. If there is a section on this in the guide and I just missed it, then disregard
Hahahaha I have just read all that. Why didn't I find it before?
I found it wonderfully insightful and very funny! Great job, babe!
No if only more people would listen...
Once, back in the day, my beta got really annoyed with me and sent me loads of links. Luckily I'm a fast learner, so we're still friends.
Of course, I can't see her rolling her eyes through the computer.
I always wonder about the UK/US diference. I mean, aside from pronunciations, there is not that much different with the spelling.
color/colour. (??) I can understand it mattering if your brought a OC in from Britain. But would the spelling have to change just because her accent does?
There are many words in the English language that are spelled differently depending on whether you're in the UK or in the US. Here is a pretty complete list. Canadians (like me!) officially use a combination of UK and US spellings, though personally, I just stick with US spelling, since most people I interact with online (minus my friends IRL) are Americans anyway.
And to answer your question, NO, you do not change the spelling of a word in a line of dialogue, even if the person in question is British. Always stick with one set. Personally, for fan fiction, I think you should stick with the set that the show/book/movie uses. So for the CSIs, it'd be most appropriate to use US spelling, though I'm sure it makes very little difference in the long run.
For the most part, I barely notice. Now I would notice motorway instead of highway or freeway (which depends where you live in the states of what you're going to call what)
But if you're pretty worried about it, if you're using Word you should be able to mess with the settings so It'll have American spelling instead of European. I found this out when I managed to change mine to European and it started saying I was spelling words wrong when I knew they were right. That way it'll just give you the red squiggly and when you run spell check you can just click always change.
Sorry... completely wrong thread. Sorry.
Yeah, so changing the actual words, rather that the spelling is important if you brought in a European OC. They wouldn't say 'highway', they'd say 'moterway' (I think).
I get it Thanks.
LLK - what are you like?
^^^Yep Im from the UK and we'd sau Moterway!
This is a great guide (and I already knew everything because I'm a language nerd), very well put together.
I think you should add Ryan and Lindsey to the names, though, I'm not even sure it's Lindsey. could be Lindsay? I think Lindsey. xD
Separate names with a comma.