Thursday, February 18, 2010

What type-o?

I read a great post over on Roni's blog, Fiction Groupie, about the mysterious and rare Lurking Agent. You know, those agents who sneak around the blogosphere looking for hot new things (I look good in a bikini! You can't see me, you don't know) to discover on the internets. This leads to the interesting question: how much editing should you really do on your blog entries?

There are basically two camps in this debate, we'll call them Camp Anawanna and Camp Bar None Dude Ranch (can we all just remember the crush that was David Lascher? Ninety nine percent sure he was Vinny on Blossom, the family friendly rebel. Side note: I never realized this is where I got the term whooping funt). At Camp Anawanna they practice the sport of stream of consciousness blogging with little to no editing involved. Blogging is not book writing as most of us would agree, and is not beholden to the same rules of grammar and spelling as the printed word. It is real time information updated constantly and can't be checked as zealously for errors. Conversely, the author of the blog can't be judged on technical abilities based on their blog writing, and should instead be measured by their witticism and timeliness, as well as their ability to make their posts interesting.

Over at Camp Bar None Dude Ranch, however, they're a little stricter about the rules. They believe that if you are putting yourself out there as an individual seeking a profession in this field, you should pay close attention to the perceptions of your writing that you create. You don't walk into an audition without a prepared song, right? Well, for a lot of writers the blog is the audition. You can't see who's behind the two way mirror, so you might as well make that dance look good (I know, I'm mixing up my metaphors, just stay with me). The rules of English grammar and spelling shouldn't fall by the wayside just because you've moved into a new medium.

As with most arguments in adulthood, there's no clear right or wrong answer. For myself I think I tend to fall into the Hey Dude camp, but that might just be the David Lascher talking (seriously, he was the TV boyfriend of my childhood! Blossom! Sabrina! He was even on an episode of Full House in which I referred to his character as Vinny!). I don't do it so much for the Lurking Agent potential as I do for my own satisfaction, and for the fact that my Dad will send me the mistakes highlighted in red when he finds them. No one is perfect and mistakes are bound to happen, but I definitely like to minimize those mistakes when they are completely within my power. It doesn't take too long to read back through that post and at least catch glaring errors, and you never know when it might be the deciding factor in an agent or editor's decision. Think on it.

1 comment:

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Thanks for the linkage. I think I fall in between the two camps. I don't like spelling errors and such, but I do type in casual tone (more of how I speak vs. how I formally write.) So there are lots of incomplete sentences and asides and such. *shrug* I dunno the right answer, but it is a lot to think about. :)