Pet peeve # 3221: Don’t attempt dialect in your fiction unless you’re really, really good at it. And most likely you’re not. “Cuz,” “wanna,” and “yer” does not constitute good dialect.

Pet peeve # 3222: Don’t send me five attachments for your proposal. Send me ONE attachment. I just printed out some new proposals I need to review. Several required me to open and print more than one document. One had FIVE separate attachments to open and print: a cover letter, a synopsis, a proposal, a prologue, and a sample chapter. Please help me be efficient with my time.

Right away I was not impressed with this potential author. You do not want an editor to start reading your proposal with a frown.

4 replies
  1. Lori Stanley Roeleveld says:

    I’m eager to hear more about writing dialect. I think it’s distracting to see countless phonetic spellings but what, in your opinion, is the best way to communicate a character’s accent? For example, using speech pattern and rhythm alone, stating that the accent exists (“She had to focus to understand his heavy brogue.”) or choosing a particular word to spell phonetically to represent the accent? I’ve been studying ways different writers approach the issue. Thanks for elaborating on your peeve.

  2. Stephanie Reed says:

    Pet Peeve #3222 was timely! I was wondering how to send the summary and four chapters of my third book to the good editors at Kregel. I was ready to send two separate attachments to keep the files from being too large. I surfed over here from Novel Matters for your “How to Succeed as a Christian Writer” posts, which were wonderful. Kept reading, and thanks to you and #3222, I rolled both files into one. I searched for Pet Peeves #1-3220, but no luck. 🙂

Comments are closed.