Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An Open Letter to the Person Who Typed in Global Watch

Thou that seest Universal
Nature moved by Universal Mind;
Thou majestic in thy sadness
at the doubtful doom of human kind;

Light among the vanished ages;
star that gildest yet this phantom shore;
Golden branch amid the shadows,
kings and realms that pass to rise no more;

Now thy Forum roars no longer,
fallen every purple Caesar's dome -
Tho' thine ocean-roll of rhythm
sound for ever of Imperial Rome -

Now the Rome of slaves hath perished,
and the Rome of freemen holds her place,
I, from out the Northern Island
sundered once from all the human race,

I salute thee, Mantovano,
I that loved thee since my day began,
Wielder of the stateliest measure
ever moulded by the lips of man.

--Tennyson, To Virgil

Dear Person Who Typed in Global Watch:

This is the last post I will ever write for this blog.  It's over.

I'm ending this blog for a simple reason:  I have too much stuff going on.  While a part of me wants to stick around and continue this blog for the second book of the exciting series, Global Watch, I have things to do.  Not having a blog to maintain is going to free up about 30 minutes every week that I can use on things that don't make me want to drink.  I haven't had an earthshaking epiphany.  I haven't decided to go into hiding.  I've just become really busy.

For a year, I have been combing over that dreck you dare to sell to people.  Reflect on that a moment: Global Watch has enough errors in it to justify a year of editing. Your knowledge of that which you strive to describe is shaky; your use of language is reminiscent of a book report written by a slow, inebriated junior college student; your ignorance of grammar and punctuation should be a deep shame for every English teacher you've ever had. I don't know how else to say it one last time:  You suck as a writer.

Having said that, I'd like to thank you, person who typed in Global Watch. It has been so much fun making fun of your writing.  I have received many emails from people who have been heartened and cheered by knowing that no matter how bad their situation, at least they were not the person who typed in Global Watch. When you used phrases like "juvenile rouse" and "going pubic," you lowered my blood pressure ever so slightly.  When you referred to the Appalachian Mountains as "Appellation," and said they were in Switzerland?  Comic gold.  Telling everybody that your mom edited it?  That you think there is a building in front of the Lincoln Memorial?  Hilarious. The way you had Wolf Blitzer be an integral part of your plot?  You should read Global Watch to people whose pets have just died, it's that funny.  Every page gave me something to laugh at and share.

As I close, I implore you to keep writing.  You need the practice, and the world needs more farce.  Thanks for the memories, Global Watch.

Sincerely,

(your friend)
Global Watcher

An Open Letter to the Readers of This Blog

Thank you for reading this blog, commenting, and sending emails.  Your input and encouragement have made me smile and let me know there are other people who value good writing and despise bad.

Life has gotten very busy for me, and I think it's time to end this blog after a year of writing it.  There's not much more I can say about the wretchedness of Global Watch, and I shudder at the prospect of going through Book 2 of the exciting series, should that dark spoor of untutored prose ever infect Amazon.com.

Stay healthy, keep reading good books, and think of Global Watch every time you see Wolf Blitzer on TV.


Show, Don't Tell.

Global Watcher.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Old School Blogging

I've noticed I haven't done a whole of old school copy editing on the Re-Edited One Year Anniversary Edition of Global Watch. I admit I've been too busy pointing out evidence of psychosis.  Well, to get back to the mission of GlobalWatchWatch, I present the following two paragraphs.


As I've written before, this is what the person who typed in Global Watch considers to be "professionally edited."
When describing an airplane as "craft," a good writer knows that more than one plane is still (wait for it...) "craft."  Macrame is a "craft."  Leatherworking is a "craft."  Macrame and leatherworking are "crafts."  Two "retrofitted 777s" are "craft."  Person who typed in Global Watch, you now owe me a new quotation mark key for my computer.  The one I have is all used up.

Also, leadership does not take "reigns."  The metaphor usually applied here (although a little shopworn) is that leadership is like a horse or a team of animals, which have to be guided with "reins."  The person who typed in Global Watch probably picked up the phrase "take the reins of leadership" from somewhere else, and like everything else he types in, didn't think about it too much and just slopped it right into this wretched jumble called Global Watch.

I'll say it again:  If this were a draft, these errors would be forgivable.  But this is the "Re-Edited One Year Anniversary Edition."  And the person who typed it in thinks you should pay money for it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

American Family

This section, while not horribly written, disturbs me.

The person who typed in Global Watch matches two of the characters, Max and Rachel, in a romance.  It's a subplot of the story how they realize their true feelings for each other.  That's all well and sickly sweet and ho-hum predictable, but this section has the domestic abuse hotline counselor in me screaming out.


Man, oh, man.  These two lovebirds spend "hours" pretending to beat each other up.  Then, when the woman  in the relationship attempts intimacy, the man just wants to beat her up even more.

That's fucked up.

I hope in Book 2 of the exciting series Global Watch these two don't have children.  Those children will be witness to Mommy beating up Daddy, Daddy silently seething over Mommy's physical superiority, and a constant struggle for dominance in the relationship.  I hope working for Global Watch is well-paying, because those kids are going to need some serious therapy.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Verbs

Today, I'd like to talk about verbs.  The person who typed in Global Watch has a hard time using the right tense, and the right verb.  For instance, read this action-packed, fast paced section.

I'm confused by how the person who typed in Global Watch describes Kyp's fighting style. First, he "launches" his attacker across the room, and then stands up.  Then, after he says, "Are you so sure about that?" he is sitting again.  The person who typed in Global Watch should learn how to use the past perfect tense. So, the sentence should read "Glancing at the monitor where Kyp had been sitting,..."  Jiminy Christmas is it that hard?  
I'm also unclear on how Laura "launched across the room."  Does she have a rocket pack?  Springs on the soles of her shoes?  I imagine that after Kyp launched her, launching herself would be hell on the knees.  Simply put, person who typed in Global Watch, you have to paint a picture for us.  
Another question I have concerns the phrase "and the battle began."  I'm no combat veteran, but I'm pretty sure that when a battle begins, both sides don't continue to talk to each other.  But that's exactly what happens here.  Kyp and Laura do some launching, then, the person who typed in Global Watch tells us, the battle begins with Laura telling Kyp he can't win, and Kyp asking if she's sure.  That is almost the wussiest battle I've ever seen.  I think it is only beat by this one schoolyard "fight" I saw where two classmates circled each other calling each other names and saying how bad they were going to wail on each other.  Then the recess bell rang and we had to go inside.  I was in third grade when this happened.  Did Global Watch get his ideas about battles from eight year olds?  
Of course, Kyp and Laura do actually physically fight (in a section I have mercifully not reprinted here), but even there, the person who typed in Global Watch wants us to believe they keep having a conversation as they trade blows.  What the hell is wrong with this person?  

S*** My Dad Says

I try to be as succinct as possible on this blog.

As for my attitude toward Global Watch, I don't think I can top the conciseness of the Shit My Dad Says Dad.
"YOU, a published writer?..Internet don't count. Any asshole can throw shit up on there."

Thank you, Shit My Dad Says Dad. Your attitude toward self-publishing is refreshingly traditionalist.

I hope you're not also talking about blogs.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Worthless descriptions



A good measure of a writer is how well he describes something. Without the ability to paint a picture for the reader, a writer is just doing stenography.
The person who typed in Global Watch is not a writer. That's why I've steadfastly refused to call him anything but "the person who typed in Global Watch." Still, his attempts at writing, especially description, continue to appall me with their laziness and ineptitude. Like this paragraph.

Let's work through this together.
How did she give him the number? Does she carry a notepad? A little description would be nice.
But the phrase "large military-grade transport vehicle" really cuts me. Deeply. When people ask you how you get to work, do you say, "I took my mid-sized consumer-grade road vehicle"? Or "I caught the scheduled multi-seat railcar transport"? It's a freakin' helicopter, Global Watch! You've already told us that, so if you want to describe it, use words like "Kazan" or "Eurocopter," or "gray." "Large military-grade transport vehicle" doesn't tell the audience anything at all.
In an article about Global Watch in an alumni magazine, I found this statement:
Using short, fast-paced chapters, Ziebert says “the characters, not a descriptive narrative, drive the story.”

That's a cop-out if ever there was. For one, the narrative IS the story. The characters fit into the narrative. A good writer makes it all work together. Then, to say, "F*** it, I'm not going to describe anything" is the height of indolence and incompetence. This statement about "descriptive narratives" driving the story leads me to believe the person who typed in Global Watch read those words in a review on the back of a Tom Clancy novel and thought they sounded good. But I don't think Tom Clancy would describe a helicopter as a "large military-grade transport vehicle."