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.


(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

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


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."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just dropping in

Summer's going great. I'll be back tomorrow or Friday.

With a vengeance.

I'm also beginning to suspect there is no Book 2 of the exciting series, Global Watch.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"I Write Like"

I found a great website today called I Write Like.

It allows you to submit a sample of your writing and receive an instant analysis of which writer your style most resembles. My friends have gotten back, "I write like David Foster Wallace," and "I write like Margaret Mitchell." I think there's some validity to this idea that you can identify which authors a writer is influenced by by his style. I'm not sure a computer program can do it, but I'm willing to admit I could be wrong.

So, I decided to put it to the test. With my own writing? Heck, no! I pulled some prime Global Watch prose! I took the first few paragraphs of Chapter 1, and pasted them into the submission box.

At that point, I fully expected the computer to tell me, "I write like someone who kept getting held back a grade." Or, "I write like crap." I was surprised when the computer told me:

Yes, I was also flabbergasted. J.K. Rowling's Could I be missing some hidden treasure in Global Watch's wordcraft? Then it dawned on me. Of course not. The computer program did a pretty good job recognizing that, like J.K. Rowling, Global Watch also invents stuff that could never happen and writes at a fifth grade level.

You win this round, computer.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I'm not going there.

Could someone explain this plan to me?

If I'm reading this correctly, Rachel's plan called for her to nearly die from lack of oxygen.

Rachel's got some issues.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How dumb can one sentence be?

The world, becoming more global? You don't say.

What possesses someone to type in a sentence this useless?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Russian Accents

Like the time I walked through Compton by myself, I knew there was trouble here, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Now I know. Here it is. The problem is with the person who typed in Global Watch and his understanding of what an accent is.

Imagine if I said to you, "The delivery person came to my door and said, in a perfect English accent, 'J'ai un paquet pour vous!'" You'd probably say, "You mean the delivery person spoke French to you in an English accent?" That's exactly what happens in this scene, mangled as it is by the person who typed in Global Watch.

As this scene is described, Kyp walks up to the Kremlin and says, in English with a Russian accent, "Mail call!" The person who typed in Global Watch could have looked up the Russian for "mail call,"* or typed in, "Kyp gave the words for 'mail call' in perfect Russian." He didn't, though. As a matter of fact, there are no Russian words to be found in Global Watch. A story in which about 25% of the action takes place in Russia has no Russian in it. Neither a "Nyet" nor a "Da." There is more Russian in "Back in the USSR" by The Beatles.

This lack of knowledge about Russia surprises me, because the person who typed in Global Watch personally met Mikhail Gorbachev. In fact, in one of his promotional materials, he says,
I had a chance to see Mikhail Gorbachev from a distance during the Cold War then later meet and take a picture with him after the fall of the Soviet Union. These childhood experiences helped me shape the political characters on both the US and Russian sides of Global Watch.

So, if meeting Gorby was so influential and the genesis of this story, why did he not even bother to include a little Russian in the story as well? I bet Gorby spoke some English to him at that fateful meeting, and the person who would grow up to type in Global Watch assumed that all Russians spoke English all the time.

I mean, has this guy ever watched a foreign film? Subtitles, Global Watch!

* I went to, and I found out that "Mail Call!" in Russian is, "почта вызова."

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

While you enjoy your freedom this weekend, don't forget about the heroes of Global Watch, the best of the best, who protect us all. Max, Kyp: You have your nation's eternal gratitude.

Now, would you stop talking like this?


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sounds like someone we know.

Over the past couple of weeks, followers of this blog have sent me stories and comments and articles about the decline in writing standards. After all the stories I've been sent, the usual refrain is, "Sound like someone you know?"

Well, to reach out to my readership, I'll share this New York Times story that I think describes the root of the problem. In the comments, one person writes:
I now teach at the university level, and unfortunately many of the students seem LESS educated than before. Fewer students seem to read the newspaper. The standard of writing skills, in particular, seems to have fallen markedly now that fewer students bother reading books for pleasure anymore. Too many students think that they can get away with the standard of writing that they see on Facebook or Twitter. Most students don't even know when to use an apostrophe! So, ironically, while the number of students receiving these honors is increasing, any increase in quality is questionable at best. Mediocrity here we come

This blog has been accused of picking on Global Watch. That's true, but it's also picking on mediocrity and ignorance. If that's wrong, then I don't want to be right. Global Watch and the person who typed in Global Watch are products of a system where mediocrity and ignorance are brushed aside in the interest of making somebody feel good. See the comments over at the Global Watch blog:
"Loved it! What a quick read. Can’t wait for book 2. In my mind , a new superstar novelist has arrived. Expect big things!"
"I enjoyed Global Watch on Kindle. Great read. Love Kyp and his team and looking forward to another adventure with them. Washington, DC is always an exciting city. The real secret agency must be wondering how you breached their security!"

Left out of the discussion is the fact that the person who typed in Global Watch is charging people two dollars for a poorly written, barely edited hodgepodge of grade school plot devices.

The person who typed in Global Watch is an educated adult. All readers should expect more of him, and when he gets coddled with praise like, "Expect big things!" there's no incentive for him to actually improve or learn how to write. Had this blog not been in existence, do you think that the person who typed in Global Watch would have released the "Re-edited One Year Anniversary Edition"? Or would we now be looking at the second (or, God help us all, third!) installment in the exciting series, Global Watch?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

More Underwater Lies

The person who typed in Global Watch thinks machine guns can blow stuff up underwater. See this paragraph:

Leaving aside the question of how exactly a laser can inflict destruction on a sub, or how bullets can blow up a submarine, I am puzzled at this description.

As I've said before, I'm no science guy, but I'm pretty sure at 6,000 meters (or 600 atmospheres), there's enough water pressure to render firearms pretty much useless. You may be able to get a round off, but the pressure of the water would mean the projectile would have no power. I thought I had learned this somewhere else, then I remembered: Mythbusters! Sure enough:

Firing guns underwater is possible, but pointless.

Add Science to the list of topics of which the person who typed in Global Watch is ignorant. This list includes: History, Washington, Geography, and College.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ask Dr. Science!

In the days before the internet, I used to listen to National Public Radio to get my marching orders from the commies (instead of visiting this site). NPR used to have a show called "Ask Dr. Science." He had funny catchphrases like "I have a Masters science!" and "I know more than you do." Good, un-American, socialist fun.

Anyway, Dr. Science would explain a scientific principle in a clever and entertaining way. Boy, I wish the person who typed in Global Watch had listened to Dr. Science. Because we would have been spared the following paragraph.

That is some boring-ass science right there. Six hundred atmospheres? 115 meters? Flames underwater? Huh? A reader won't care about converting meters below sea level to atmospheres to pounds of pressure. Dr. Science would have made this paragraph readable, and realistic.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Random Post

When are we going to get Book 2 of the exciting series, Global Watch? It's been more than a year.

I did a little research. Did you know that Stephen King published 20 books between 1974 and 1986? It's true. That's a blistering pace, person who typed in Global Watch. When are you going to start?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Blood-thirsty anti-intellectualism.

One of the main contradictions within the Global Watch universe is that Global Watch is an organization whose goal is to spread peace and prosperity and truth to the rest of the world. It does so by having a big-ass army.

In the hands of a writer with an understanding of grammar and spelling, this idea might be used to make the reader think deep, philosophical thoughts about protectionism, democracy, and diplomacy. That person who typed in Global Watch, as you know, is not that writer.

A good example of Global Watch's ham-fisted, ignorant views of how the world works is the character of Rachel Flynn. Even though all the other main characters also were child prodigies who carried 5.0 grade point averages and were the wet dreams of high school guidance counselors, Rachel is really the brains of the organization. We learn she took some time away from Global Watch to get her Ph.D. She's also a pacifist.

With a character like this, a good writer would have a foil to Kyp and Max's philosophy of "There is no problem I can not beat the shit out of." This character could balance their caveman thuggery with reason and humanity. It's that contrast and tension that makes for good reading.

But, as I've gotten used to saying: Not Global Watch. At the end of Global Watch, the pacifist intellectual Rachel Flynn is leading up fighter squadrons and blowing planes out of the sky.

There you have it. Global Watch has no place for intellectuals like Rachel, who might find diplomatic solutions to problems. Global Watch only has a use for smart people when they can blow shit up. It's not that I think the military doesn't have intellect or great thinkers; a good deal of military strategy involves avoiding having to fight a war in the first place. Rather, the person who typed in Global Watch has created an organization which has no place for this type of thinking.

This is the way the person who typed in Global Watch views the world. The way Rachel Flynn transforms from an intellectual pacifist into a glorious Valkyrie is blood-thirsty anti-intellectualism at its worst.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Global Watch is being plagiarized!

I hate to say it, but Global Watch has been deemed worthy of ripping off by Glenn Beck.

I'll let that sink in.

Glenn Beck's attempt at writing a novel is remarkably similar to Global Watch's premise, plot, and characters. From Media Matters:

First, a quick summation of the plot, such as it is. The protagonist, Noah Gardner, works for an impossibly powerful public relations firm in Manhattan that has been the driving force behind pretty much every political and cultural movement of the 20th century. Their latest and grandest scheme is the culmination of a lengthy plot to change the United States into some sort of ill-defined progressive plutocracy, and the catalyst for this change is a nuclear explosion that will occur outside the home-state office of "the current U.S. Senate majority leader," which happens to be at the same address as Harry Reid's Las Vegas offices. The nuclear attack is to be blamed on the Founders Keepers, a Tea Party-like group -- led by Noah's love interest, Molly Ross -- that is working to foil the plot.

I think you should all go over to the Media Matters article and read their review of it. It is a masterpiece of critique. I feel honored that they ripped me off ridiculing a book that was ripped off from the book I've been ridiculing. You're welcome, Media Matters, you godless Commies.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Back Shortly

Next up:
Blood-thirsty anti-intellectualism.

Until then, enjoy this scene from "Waiting for Guffman." I swear the person who typed in Global Watch wrote this play.

Monday, May 31, 2010

For those joining late...

Here's the best summation of Global Watch I could come up with.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

"An embrace of fascism in the name of freedom"

These days, you can't call for dogs to be put on leashes without being called a fascist. Hell, I sometimes think that parking meters are fascist devices, meant to get MY money for the "public good." (Or, as the person who typed in Global Watch would put it, the "pubic good.") It's my right as an American to park anywhere I want, Hitler. So, to edify myself, I looked up "fascist" in the dictionary. Here's what I found.

Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong.

Where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah. In Global Watch.

Another aspect of fascism, I learned, is the interconnectedness of business and the military.
Fascists present their ideology as that of an economically trans-class movement that promotes ending economic class conflict to secure national solidarity.[26] They believe that economic classes are not capable of properly governing a nation, and that a merit-based aristocracy of experienced military persons must rule through regimenting a nation's forces of production and securing the nation's independence.[27]

Again, I seem to remember reading that somewhere. Oh, yeah. Global Watch again.

So, Global Watch is an aristocracy of experienced military persons who command the nation's forces of production. And the person who typed in Global Watch portrays these people as heroes. Lovely.

In his defense, I do not think the person who typed in Global Watch is a fascist, but I think he has produced, unwittingly, a piece of fascist propaganda. Through a very poor understanding of political science and economics, Global Watch presents a very frightening view of how America should work. Yes, it is all fun and games for military personnel to run Coke and Pepsi and play jokes on the American people, but...consider the ramifications, Global Watch! Had those ramifications been considered, perhaps Global Watch wouldn't have seen the light of day. And perhaps I would have spent this morning outside, enjoying my freedom.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everybody. If you like your freedom, thank a veteran. Not Global Watch.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Little Detour

I know I'm supposed to be going down the list of problems I pointed out here, but I caught a second wind of loathing last night before I went to sleep*. I revisited some paragraphs that I had hoped would have been corrected in the Re-edited One Year Anniversary Edition of Global Watch. And, behold.

Another instance of professional editing: "Unites States." Can't even proofread the name of your own country.

The highlight for me, though, is the phrase, "cost the U.S. both monetarily and resourcefully." Resourcefully, Global Watch? Like so many of your other attempts to depict humans speaking, this makes no sense. How can something cost resourcefully? Screw it. You know what, person who typed in Global Watch? Give me the name of the editor you used to professionally edit this. I'll get your money back myself.

I'll return next time with my explication of Global Watch's fascist streak, but I just needed to go after this paragraph.

* Marketing idea: Global Watch pajamas. Made especially for bedwetting children who soil themselves in fear at the drop of a hat.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Helping Out

During my hiatus, I had a revelation.
It was not enough to hold up Global Watch to ridicule.
What would really make the world a better place would be to guide the person who typed in Global Watch on the path to enlightenment. To that end, I will start posting things that the person who typed in Global Watch should read before he attempts to write stories about covert American freedom spreading agencies.
So, as a follow-up to yesterday's post, I provide today's reading first.
1. The Church Committee report on the NSA and the 4th Amendment. In particular:
We have a particular obligation to examine the NSA, in light of its tremendous potential for abuse. ..Indeed, as our hearing into the Huston plan demonstrated, a previous administration and a former NSA Director favored using this potential against certain U.S. citizens for domestic intelligence purposes.

2. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
Because I doubt the person who typed in Global Watch has ever heard of it.

3. 1984 by George Orwell.
Because the person who typed in Global Watch might see a little bit of himself in it.

And, as always,
4. Strunk and White's The Elements of Style.

I hope this helps.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"An utter contempt for the American people"

So let's recap.
Global Watch is a top secret organization that runs all the nation's big businesses and universities. Its mission is to protect the American way of life. Its executives run around the world getting drunk and hitting on each other constantly. But the worst part? They think the American people are stupid. Dig it.

Then there's this.

Let's recap again.
The person who typed in Global Watch thinks that an organization that cavalierly releases cover-up stories and lies to the American people is the very model of American democracy. Moreover, the American people will be too besotted by "peace" to ask too many questions of their government.

Damnit, person who typed in Global Watch, asking questions of government IS American! I hate to sound like a Tea Party crazy, but it seems to me if you're inventing superhero government agencies that embody American ideals, you might at least be consistent and have those agencies be answerable to the American people. Especially when you describe said superhero government agency as having a mission statement that says the following:

Do you know what helps make something be an icon of truth? Not lying!

In the larger context of Global Watch, this is one of the big three problems I have. The person who typed in Global Watch thinks that these people are heroes. That the American people need these superhero liars to protect them from the truth. Well, let me say this: I don't want to live in Global Watch's America.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Back from Hiatus!

Oh, man, did I have a great time. Read some classic literature, played jug in a hillbilly band, got kicked out of the hillbilly band for my views on cornpone. Good, eye-opening times.

Anyway, I'm going to focus on three (more) big problems I have with Global Watch. These posts are worth the wait, and have been fun to write. As I see it, I could go on and on for another year cataloging the spelling and grammar mistakes in Global Watch. And that alone would demonstrate the half-wit talent we're confronting. But the larger story and concept reveal some more disturbing things about Global Watch. In it, we find:

1. An utter contempt for the American people;
2. An embrace of fascism in the name of freedom;
3. A blood-thirsty anti-intellectualism.

These three things are what I'm going to tackle now that I'm back on GlobalWatchWatch. With a little luck, the person who typed in Global Watch will think long and hard before releasing Book 2 upon us.

Fired up!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Broken Promise

I know. I know. I promised I'd be back from hiatus by now.

I need a couple of extra days.

Until I return, enjoy this.

It has something to do with spelling.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Still on hiatus

As promised, I've been reading and writing...
and waiting.

I'm tentatively planning to resume this blog next week.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Minor blog maintenance

Just trying to stay current with the Web 2.0 gadgetry. As you'll see, I added a Facebook like button, to more accurately find out who likes this blog. I expect this to have a similar result to the invitations I sent out for my seventh birthday party. The birthday party that nobody came to. I think my Dad ducked out early from that one.

I'm not bitter or anything.

It's a test run, to see if GlobalWatchWatch can go all Facebooky. If not, hey. There's always more therapy sessions.

Update: I removed the Facebook "Like" button. It seemed a little over the top. You can, however, still link to posts using the Share button below.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday Comics Time


Still on hiatus.
I'll probably take another week or so and then return.
This, however, was too good and too relevant not to share.

(Click on the comic to view the whole thing.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Brief Hiatus

Like all good professors, the author of this blog feels compelled to take occasional breaks from his scholarly pursuits. So, without further ado, I am announcing a temporary hiatus from this blog.

My friend The Punctuator assured me that Global Watch would still be here when I got back. And of that I have no doubt. I'll continue to monitor the blog of the person who typed in Global Watch, and when Book 2 drops, I will be all over it like stink on a gorilla.

I may post from time to time with thoughts on self-publishing and Web 2.0, but I think to stay sharp, I need a little time to read and think about something other than Global Watch. The weather's finally turning nice, and I'd like to do some walking and drinking during the day.

You should take a little break, too. Don't go too far away, though. I'm not giving up the fight.

Monday, April 19, 2010

And another thing

This is one of the dumbest paragraphs in all of Global Watch.
The cola wars had been one of the biggest jokes that GWI had played on the nation. They got money from the sale of every soda from both companies, but the executives felt it would be fun to wage a war without guns for once, as they placed bets on which company they thought would win.

Besides making Global Watch look like a bunch of douchebag jerkoffs (which is an example of the language I'd like to see in Book 2 of the exciting series, Global Watch), this paragraph contributes absolutely nothing to the story.

This paragraph illustrates the problem at the heart of the story of Global Watch: It is about an organization that controls everything and thinks it is fun to make Americans buy flavored sugar water. Global Watch can't defend liberty and democracy and shit AND at the same time play jokes on the nation. And if you're going to tell a story where a secret organization is behind the cola wars AND defends liberty, at least make the rest of the story be funny and quirky. Person who typed in Global Watch, here is my advice to you: either you're trying to write a tale of deadly serious global intrigue, or you're trying to make fun of the genre with hyperbole and self-aware absurdities. Pick one and run with it. Paragraphs like the above just come across as wanking off.*

*That was not a pun. F*** yourself if you think it was.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


In the words of Marty McFly:
"This one's an oldie, but, uh... well it's an oldie where I come from."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Plot Hole

I don't care if I ruin the story for people who have not read Global Watch. It's been out a year. If you haven't read it by now, you never will, and I envy you.

The villain of the story is a dude named Oleg, whom we first hear about when he goes by the name Professor Peters, Harvard professor. He identifies Laura during her time at Harvard and gets her to betray her friends in Global Watch. There are a couple things wrong with this twist that show how contrived and ill-conceived the plot is.

1. You're telling me that Oleg, who has amassed a huge fortune and has spent decades preparing the world for his grand plan for domination, also found the time to jump through all the hoops required to land a faculty position at Harvard? No, shut up. I don't want to hear how I should suspend disbelief. I've met Harvard faculty. On their way to those coveted, ivy-covered spots, they didn't have time to build a global network of contacts that could pose a threat to democracy. They barely had time to do laundry.

2. Global Watch owns Harvard University. How bad does it make Global Watch look to have had their arch enemy and diabolical would-be emperor on the payroll? They don't screen applicants? No background check? Peer review? This Oleg/Peters guy was operating under their noses for how many years, putting together a plot to let the workers of the world throw off their chains, and they didn't know? What other kinds of crap has Global Watch let slip through the cracks? This does not sound like an organization I would trust with a goldfish, much less the fate of the free world.

Person who typed in Global Watch: explain yourself.

I can't wait to read Book 2 of the exciting series Global Watch.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Still not there.

Seeing as how the person who typed in Global Watch hasn't taken me up on my offer to edit the final, latest, Re-Edited One Year Anniversary Edition of Global Watch, I'm using the one at the Smashwords webpage.
And, quelle surprise! it still has errors in it.

"Then/than" confusion still reigns (or, as the person who typed in Global Watch might write, "reins").
"Oblivious pitfall" continues to be awesome.
And, one that I didn't point out the first time (but a fan of this blog did): "secret hidden" is redundant.

To repeat: This is what the person who typed in Global Watch considers to be professionally edited.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ripped from horribly written fiction

I will give the person who typed in Global Watch credit. He totally predicted this Kyrgyzstan thing.
The opposition leaders took power after street protests that began with a demonstration against rising utility rates in a provincial city.

On Wednesday, soldiers guarding Mr. Bakiyev’s offices opened fire on demonstrators, killing as many as 75 people before they swarmed into the building. Mr. Bakiyev took power in 2005, also after a popular uprising, promising democracy and an end to corruption. His opponents say that he quickly became as corrupt and authoritarian as his predecessors.

After Mr. Bakiyev fled the capital on Wednesday, Ms. Otunbayeva, a former foreign minister, announced that she would lead a “people’s government” until a new constitution could be written and elections held. The following day, she spoke on the phone with Mr. Putin, who offered support.

You know who's on the case in Kyrgyzstan? Yup. The elite forces of Global Watch. I fully expect the person who typed in Global Watch to be interviewed by the networks as an expert in craziness that happens in former Soviet republics. I hope he suggests that the US can solve the problem by having a Global Watch agent fall in love with Ms. Otunbayeva.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Response, Part 3

In an Amazon review for the Re-Edited One Year Anniversary Edition of Global Watch, a reader makes the following statement:
The new re-edit also makes the dialogue completely come to life and engross the reader.

Again I ask, who the hell talks like this?

I got curious about that review, since it seems so emphatically pro-Global Watch. I had noticed that it had also been posted at the Mobipocket Global Watch page. They were written by the same guy, Mike Samuels. Now I'm not saying it's bad to cross-post reviews. Seems a little like astroturf, but there's nothing criminal with it.
Here's the full review, by the way:
I loved the first edition of Global Watch. It was action packed, fast paced and chalk-full of political intrigue. Seeing that a new edition was available, I was thrilled to come back and revisit an old favorite.

The new version is by far superior. As mentioned in some of the lower reviews, the first iteration had a few grammatical problems. That is no longer the case as this version could not be more professional. The new re-edit also makes the dialogue completely come to life and engross the reader. I fully recommend giving Global Watch your attention, as you will be hooked from page one.

Right away, three things caught my eye:
1. The reviewer uses the words "action packed" and "fast paced." Let's see the description of Global Watch by the person who typed it in:
Global Watch marks the first entry of a new action packed series wrought with political intrigue and international conspiracy. The fast paced twists and turns will keep the cleverest minds guessing until the very end, and holding their breath as the ultimate endgame unfolds.

I'm mistrustful of reviewers who use the same copy as the product they are reviewing. Seems disingenuous. Like I said, "astroturf."

2. The phrase "chalk-full."
Here's where my Spidey Sense jolted me awake from my bourbon stupor. The phrase is not "chalk-full." What the heck does that mean? It's "chock full"! That's one inarticulate reviewer. Why, that's almost as hilarious as someone writing "juvenile rouse" and "Appellation Mountains."

3. Both reviews were posted within a day of the Re-Edited One Year Anniversary Edition of Global Watch being released.

So I pondered. Is it that much of a stretch of logic to think that this Mike Samuels could be a little too close to Global Watch to be an unbiased reviewer? Is it so crazy to think that Mike Samuels, who uses the same language as the promotional copy and makes similar language errors, might somehow be connected to the person who typed in Global Watch? Should I not find something curious in the fact that these reviews appeared so shortly after the new edition went on sale?

To quote Lewis Carroll: "Curiouser and curiouser."

The big hurdle to making self-publishing a respected venue for writers is that the writer has to do all the promotion; but with tools like Amazon and blogs and social networking, there are great opportunities for a self-publishing author to level the playing field with books put out by the big houses. The problems arise in situations like this, where it's all too easy to fake a readership. Because one of the hallmarks of the internet is transparency, it's also fairly easy to sniff out such planted reviews. Honest reviews by actual fans of your work go a long way to building a reputation and following. Authors who self-publish would be wise to avoid these blatant astroturf efforts, as they only work against you.

The person who typed in Global Watch would also do well to read up on this.

All the planted reviews in the world can't help one immutable fact about Global Watch: The characters speak like people who have been bludgeoned with large rocks.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why I Care

"I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail."

--William Faulkner

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Appellation Mountains

Another attempt to find a professionally edited version of the Re-edited One Year Anniversary Edition of Global Watch has come to naught.

I noticed that the person who typed in Global Watch added another distribution channel at which people who read at the second-grade level can purchase this..."thing." At the website Smashwords, the page for Global Watch says that this edition was published on March 31, 2010. So it has to be the latest professionally edited version, right?

Nope. It still has one of the more telling examples of editorial incompetence.

As documented in a previous post, this error is tragically laughable. Or laughably tragic. Since this error appears in both the original and professionally edited versions, the person who typed in Global Watch must think one of two things:
1. The Appalachian Mountains are in Switzerland,
2. "Alps" is a shortened form of "Appalachian".

And that's my biggest problem with this Re-Edited One Year Anniversary Edition of Global Watch. Editing isn't just fixing the then/than problem or determining if punctuation falls inside or outside quotation marks. Editing involves making sure the words make sense and are used properly. With errors like these, I doubt that this was professionally edited. Which leaves us with the question: why would the person who typed in Global Watch lie to us?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Still a disaster

A reader in the comments to a previous post informs me that his or her copy of the Re-edited One Year Anniversary Edition of Global Watch differs from the copy I bought. This reader points out that his or her version does not have the "pubic" mistakes that my copy does.

If this was a passive-aggressive move by the person who typed in Global Watch to make me repeatedly buy copies, it failed. The site I used won't let me buy it again. So here's my offer to the person who typed in Global Watch, if he's following this blog.

In the non-self-publishing publishing industry, agents and publishers typically send out review copies for free. If you, the person who typed in Global Watch, think I should have the latest version with all the errors removed by your professional editor, then send me a copy. I've already paid for it once, and I'm probably providing you with more publicity that you could get on your own. Here's my email address. Let's work together on this.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Back to Fun

Here's another great scene that makes me laugh, then retch.

I guess Global Watch is like the religious Youth Group I got kicked out of when I was younger: horny people talking about God and making out. That Kyp and Laura are 34-year old adults really adds a big spoonful of "eew" to this decadent sundae.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Response, Part 2

In the statement accompanying the release of the Re-edited One Year Anniversary Edition of Global Watch, the person who typed it in says the following:
However, after a year of collecting feedback from both fans and critics alike, I am re-releasing Global Watch in a new, professionally edited format.

I admit that a lot of the punctuation problems have been fixed, and that he has finally learned the difference between "than" and "then." Huzzah! But I'm not done.

So we're clear here, "professionally edited" means "edited by a professional editor," right? Someone who takes money to edit words went through Global Watch, and fixed all the mistakes, right? That's the point of re-releasing it after a year of editing. Because if that's the claim being made, could you explain the following three mistakes to me?

If those mistakes seem familiar (because who can forget a good "pubic" joke?), they should, because this blog pointed out those errors on October 11, 2009.
Here's the original:

You see why I doubt the claim that this edition was "professionally edited." A professional editor may have missed one of those "pubics." Maybe, after a beer at lunch, the second one slipped by. But to leave three instances of the same mistake unchanged, after this blog pointed it out? That's not professional editing. Why, then, does the person who typed in Global Watch make the claim that this was professionally edited, when it clearly was not?

More questions than answers, my friends. More questions than answers.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Response, Part 1

I thought a bit about the announcement of the Re-edited One Year Anniversary Edition of Global Watch. And I've concluded it's full of deception and intrigue.

First problem:
My vision for the Global Watch series has always been to share my work with the public quickly and efficiently though online publication

On the title page, three copyright dates are listed: 2005, 2009, and 2010. There were four years between that first copyright and when he started selling it online. Four years! That's a heck of a lot of time to make sure it's perfect. So I don't believe he had to rush Global Watch to market to keep up with the changes in the publishing industry.

Second problem:
In that regard, I chose initially to act as both author and primary editor of my work.

Then why, as I've noted here, did he credit his mom with being his editor? I like how he cleverly parses the phrase "primary" editor. But on the dedication page of the original edition, he says his mom "read every page repeatedly and tirelessly worked with [him] to craft and perfect Global Watch." That sounds like something the "primary" editor would do.

None of this makes sense. The more I read the statement accompanying the Re-edited One Year Anniversary Edition of Global Watch, the more confused I get.

Finally, what kind of person sells you a poorly developed product, then fixes it like he should have done the first time, and tries to get you to buy the same product that you already have in your possession? That's what the person who typed in Global Watch is doing with this ploy. This is what he says:
"The story and characters that you have all grown to know and love remain completely intact, but the text and syntax are now polished to match the integrity of the novel..."
Assuming you've "grown to know and love" the story and characters, and have sufficient dope to make it to the end of Global Watch, why the hell would you want to buy it again? It's shameless in its admission of incompetence. "The first one I sold you was crap. But you should buy it again because I took a stab at editing it this time." If the person who typed in Global Watch were honest, he'd refund everybody who bought that first attempt.

In Response, Part 2, I challenge his claim that this second attempt was professionally edited.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Big News!

Just saw this.

GLOBAL WATCH: Re-edited One Year Anniversary Edition (March 2010)

Thank you to all of my loyal readers and supporters. The launch of the one year anniversary edition of Global Watch commemorates the current fluid nature of the publishing industry. My vision for the Global Watch series has always been to share my work with the public quickly and efficiently though online publication.

In that regard, I chose initially to act as both author and primary editor of my work. However, after a year of collecting feedback from both fans and critics alike, I am re-releasing Global Watch in a new, professionally edited format.

The story and characters that you have all grown to know and love remain completely intact, but the text and syntax are now polished to match the integrity of the novel and will become the ongoing standard for the Global Watch series.

Read a free excerpt at:

I have some things to say about this, but I wanted to let you all know that our efforts here have not been entirely in vain.

Stay tuned for my critique of The Anniversary Edition.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Survey Says...

I love user-generated content. And so should the person who typed in Global Watch, because this blog's readers just served him one awesome plotline.

According to last week's polls, people want Book 2 of the exciting series, Global Watch to go something like this.

Kyp is gone missing and presumed to have gone rogue. In reality, he is shacked up in a seedy love nest with Piper Strobe. Unaware of this, Max goes off to find him and bring him back, dead or alive.

Watching the TV in their no-tell motel room, Kyp and Piper learn that Wolf Blitzer has been brutally killed. Kyp and Piper grow suspicious, and believe his murder was done by the Knights of Columbus, who wish to take over CNN. Will the couple stop the plot before it is too late, or will the Knights of Columbus control the nation's media? Kyp and Piper do it one more time before they decide to save the world.

Meanwhile, Bruce Dominguez and his team of novice Global Watch agents are riding around Washington, DC in a short bus. They, too, have grown suspicious of the Knights of Columbus and are riding the short bus in order to get close enough to the Knights of Columbus Hall without suspicion. This is a brilliant disguise because, really, they're riding the short bus. Max is drawing closer to apprehending Kyp and Piper, and a showdown occurs with many different combatants. Bruce, the head of the Knights of Columbus, Kyp, Max, and Piper all find themselves locked in a bumper boat battle to the death. The corrupt head of the Knights of Columbus thinks he has shown Global Watch how easily they can be swayed to evil. But being pure of heart (well, sort of), the Global Watch agents save the day, and put an end to the Knights of Columbus.

At the end, Piper tells Kyp that she is pregnant. Kyp, being a true gentleman, offers her lots of hush money if she pretends the child isn't his. Max Park understands what is at stake, and agrees to publicly claim paternity of the child in order to preserve his friend's reputation.* Everything at Global Watch returns to normal, and the world never learns how close it came to being ruled by the Knights of Columbus.

Hear me, o person who typed in Global Watch. I would pay $1.99 to read that story.

*I got this idea from John Edwards.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Conspiracy Friday

The person who typed in Global Watch gets us excited with his description of the plot of Book 2 as :
a team of Global Watch rookies becomes intertwined in a web of international intrigue more tangled and complicated then it’s prepared to handle.

Help the person who typed in Global Watch choose which diabolical organizations are in this web of intrigue. Like all good conspiracy theories, there should be a far-reaching network of evil, so I set up the poll so you can pick more than one organization. Remember, the more tangled and complicated the better. Feel free to add your own organizations and explanations in this post's comments.

Remember, you can pick all that apply.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Love and Rockets

At the end of Global Watch, Kyp kisses Piper Strobe and invites her out for pizza. A real Romeo, that guy.
Obviously, Book 2 of the exciting series, Global Watch has to make room in the plot for the romance of Kyp and Piper. Where does it go? Are Kyp and Piper two people caught up in a flame that has to die down soon, or is it a nice day for a white wedding?*

You decide! Help out the person who typed in Global Watch by telling him how far you see the Kyp-Piper mating going.

* My iTunes library is playing some really odd stuff lately.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Riding with the King.

In Global Watch, a lot of attention was paid to the planes, cars, and watercraft that Global Watch agents used. They had the Maybach 62. Submarines. Mini-subs. "Robust" 777s, whatever the hell those are.
So, in Book 2 of the exciting series Global Watch, some new vehicles need to make their debut. Help the person who typed in Global Watch choose the vehicle that the agents will use to save democracy, or freedom, or liberty, or whatever the hell concept gets thrown around like confetti.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Showdown

The main drama of Book 2 of the exciting series, Global Watch should occur when the hero and villain finally square off, once and for all, to settle it. In these final showdowns, there's usually "a big reveal," where either the hero or villain reveals something dramatic and unexpected. Or they just monologue. Could go either way, really.

Help the person who typed in Global Watch select the right dramatic reveal/monologue for the big showdown.

Monday, March 15, 2010

R.I.P. ? T.B.D.

With all multi-part epics, and poorly scripted TV dramas on CBS, there comes a time when the audience must bid an all-too-soon farewell to a central character.
Think Boromir in The Lord of the Rings, or the first lady agent on NCIS. Also, the sixth Huxtable child.
So, too, must Global Watch see a character take a dirt nap.
Help the person who typed in Global Watch choose the right one. Vote in the latest poll.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's your turn!

In my anticipation of the second installment of the exciting series, Global Watch, I frequently check the Global Watch blog. The latest word on Book #2 reads like this:
News on Global Watch Book 2

With the completion of Book 1, I have drafted story arcs for the next two editions of Global Watch. Book 2 is well underway and will focus on the core GW team and the state of the world as it was left after the events of Book 1. I am also introducing a new team of GW recruits along with a few other international organizations.

There's even a page where we will supposedly get sample chapters when the person who typed in Global Watch unleashes the sequel upon an eager reading public. Until that glorious day, we have to be content with this:
A preview of Book #2 in the exciting series, Global Watch:

Everything that the team at Global Watch has fought to defend is unraveling around them. In the wake of a major victory toppling the Eastern European Empire, GW’s best agent, Kyp Sanders, is missing and presumed to have gone rogue. Max Park, Kyp’s best friend, is sent to hunt him down and bring him back, dead or alive. As tensions mount and Max draws closer, Kyp must reconcile his allegiance and determine for which side he is really fighting.

The stakes rise as a training mission goes seriously awry and a team of Global Watch rookies becomes intertwined in a web of international intrigue more tangled and complicated then it’s prepared to handle. The future of the country is at stake. Global Watch’s best agents are temporarily vulnerable and defenseless, and the only force that is capable of saving the day is the novice team of eight young men and women and their instructor, Bruce Dominguez. All external communications are down, and Bruce and his team believe this crisis is part of a training mission. Little do they know that the danger is real and that as Max Park hunts Kyp, Kyp is hunting Bruce and his team.

This got me thinking. If Book 2 of the exciting series, Global Watch is still being written, readers like us might still be able to influence how it turns out. So, all this week, I'll be posting polls to solicit your opinion about how the exciting series, Global Watch can be improved. With a little luck, the person who typed in Global Watch might garner some valuable feedback on how to create something that people might enjoy.

Here's the first poll question. Check back all week for more opportunities to improve the exciting series, Global Watch.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Chapter 30

I'm not going to say much about this paragraph.There are no serious grammatical or spelling errors.

My only concern is that I think an eight year old wrote it.
I don't see how anybody but a third grader could think that the concept of "super coalitions" would make for interesting reading.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Another mistake made multiple times.

It's almost been a year since Global Watch came out. Isn't it time for another installment? I don't think I can keep this blogging pace going. Not that there's not enough errors to post for another year. I mean, do you know what it does to a person's brain to read Global Watch almost every day?

Some family members won't talk to me anymore. Clerks at my grocery store avoid me. I'm turning into that guy in the movie Pi.

Friday, March 5, 2010

My favorite part of the Global Watch webpage

From the Global Watch blog.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I have a confession.

My confession is this: I was sick the past couple of days.
It all started when I was going through Global Watch looking for some particularly hellish prose with which to make you swoon. I passed over a lot of bad punctuation and worse grammar looking for just the right nugget of atrocious.

Then I came upon this...

And the vomit started.

My word, I still get the dry heaves when I read this. I have seen Precious Moments figurines and Tijuana Bibles that depicted love more accurately.

Because I've been away so long, I will pontificate a bit longer. In his attempt to depict human emotion, the person who typed in Global Watch comes across as a sort of real-life Emmeline Grangerford, the character in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn who wrote the unforgettable line:

O no. Then list with tearful eye,
Whilst I his fate do tell.
His soul did from this cold world fly,
By falling down a well.

Thank you, Global Watch, for a long-overdue purge.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quick update

Life (real, gritty, joyous life) has reminded me of priorities.
Sorry for the lack of Global Watch hilarity.
I will post more as soon as I am able.

You all rule.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Movie Time, Again!

Welcome to another installment of GlobalWatchWatch Theater, featuring Laura and Oleg.

It's not my best work, but consider the source material I had to work with.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Because I am lazy.

The person who typed in Global Watch uses the verb "unfold" 13 times in the course of the story.

Events unfold.
Details unfold.
Plans unfold.

I'm not going to bore you by posting every instance of "unfold," because I myself am almost drooling as though I've been lobotomized. I'd hate to do that to you. It's as though the person who typed in Global Watch picked up the word "unfold" from some favorite dimestore novel, and became mesmerized by how you could use it as part of a metaphor. But that would be giving him too much credit.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I also hate Kyp.

Here's another one of Global Watch's stellar paragraphs.

I was unaware that you could feel sick to more than one stomach; how else can I explain Kyp's feeling sick to a specific one--"this" stomach? Maybe he is a cow. This would make Global Watch interesting, but it's highly unlikely.
The second error I've highlighted is poor use of the "not only...but also" construction. I think leaving out the "also" causes some confusion. It's not the worst crime committed in this e-book, but it's symptomatic of laziness and incompetence. In fact, the person who typed in Global Watch could have avoided the construction all together by saying, "He had just missed the entire overview of Oleg's plan, and Rachel was not privy to that information, either." He could have, but I think we all know he didn't.
And so, we arrive at the last sentence, in which the person who typed in Global Watch goes for the verbal equivalent of a triple axel into a double Lutz. (Sorry, I watched some Olympic figure skating.) Well, it's not that hard for someone who knows how to write well, but we all know who we are dealing with here. He tries to say that Kyp hates failing a mission more than anyone else does, but he phrases that comparison in such a way that it seems as though nobody hated failing a mission more than they hated Kyp. This could have been clarified by adding the word "did" after "Kyp." Also, the "then/than" error leads to another deduction. And so, another medal-less outing for Global Watch. Way to represent America, loser.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Compatriot!

Please read The Self-Publishing Review.
It's a blog run by a professional editor, with a simple concept:
Here are the rules. You send me a copy of your self-published book, and I'll read it. If I like it I'll review it here, and will be generous with my praise.

What's the catch? I'm an editor, and expect published books to be polished. I'm going to count all the errors I find in spelling, punctuation and grammar and when I reach fifteen I'm going to stop reading. I'll work my way through up to five pages of boring prose or bad writing before I give up.

I think she would give up on Global Watch after about two pages.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Another of my favorite paragraphs.

I like this a lot.

And here's why.
Everyone at Global Watch is afraid. How afraid? Very, VERY afraid.
The fate of Democracy is at their feet. Are they going to kick it? Pick it up? Step over it? The suspense builds.
And in the middle of this epic, world-changing, terrifying scene, Max Park has one thing on his mind: getting with his ex-girlfriend.

You're a real American hero, Max Park.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Let It Bleed.

I will give Global Watch this compliment: It's eco-friendly.
By being an e-book, it doesn't require any paper. And by being utterly unpublishable, it won't take up space in a publisher's warehouse or in the remainder bin of a bookstore. So score one for the trees.
If it were printed on paper, and had I purchased a copy, I would not have been content with merely throwing it into the recycle bin. That would have left open the possibility that a homeless person might have found it, and that would be cruel. No, I would have had to shred my copy, and that would have wasted electricity. So, score one for energy consumption.
Global Watch is 355 pages, or about 180 pieces of paper. If it had to be self-published, I'm glad it was as an e-book. That's a lot of paper that was saved.
And that brings me to today's GlobalWatchWatch writing lesson: economy of language. Global Watch didn't have to be 355 pages. With a box of red pens and some time, the person who typed in Global Watch could have taken it down to a manageable 200 pages. Not that the story would have been any less contrived or predictable or offensive, but at least the torture would have been over quickly.
Take this excerpt, for instance.

There are a number of problems here. What does "filled with dark mahogany wood" mean? Is someone using the conference room to store lumber? Also, what makes it belong at the top of a 100 story office building? Is it designed to withstand the high winds at that altitude? It goes back to choosing to "show" rather than "tell." The person who typed in Global Watch needs some serious work in this area.
Another misstep is describing Global Watch as not being tall. Did people say that the John Hancock company was a tall company because the John Hancock building is pretty damn tall? Only if they were toddlers.
Adding to my misery is the phrase "awash with light and windows." How is a room "awash with windows"?
Enough. I could spend all day on this post, but I have to go spraypaint graffiti on some cars. Just kidding. Here's my point: All this trash writing can be avoided with merciless use of the red pen to get rid of unnecessary words and phrases. Here's my edit of this section. I hope the person who typed in Global Watch appreciates what I'm doing for him.

Kyp surveyed the conference room where he had masterminded missions for the last five years. Spacious enough for 50 people, it was brightly lit by bulletproof windows. Its dark mahogany furniture could have been in a room at the top floor of a corporate skyscraper, even though Global Watch’s building was nowhere near that tall for security reasons. In the center of the room, James Macintyre and Kyp's three friends sat at a broad conference table. Despite his familiarity here, Kyp had never had such a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.

That section went from 142 words to 94. If I did that to the rest of Global Watch, it would be a third shorter. All I did was figure out that the person who typed in Global Watch was trying to do two things:
1. Describe the conference room;
2. Say that Kyp had stomach problems;
and then cut out every word that didn't accomplish either of those goals. It's that simple.
You're welcome, Global Watch.