Judith Rook  (with Alison Dere)

Monthly Archive: July 2015

Rather Puzzled

I’ve been thinking about reviews.

A person who creates something rarely wants to keep it from other people.  Writers want their work to be read and hopefully to be enjoyed so they publish it, knowing that from time to time it will be reviewed, whether paid for or unsolicited.

However I believe that reviewers have a responsibility to be accurate in what they write.  A music review (and I’ve written many of those) mustn’t say that a performer played out of tune unless the writer is willing, and able,  to prove that what they say is correct.

A review  was written for “Planet Woman” which said that there are “syntactical errors” in the text. I have written for editors who look for errors of syntax with wide grins and bared fangs, so I know all about them.  I asked the reviewer, very nicely, if he would tell me where I might find a syntactical error in my novel.   Later, I asked him again. No reply both times.

I know quite a lot about grammar; things such as a gerund phrase used as a noun, or an adverbial modifier, don’t faze me.

I wonder if the reviewer is talking about my general writing style, where sometimes I adjust ‘normal’ syntax for the sake of a particular effect.  I wish I knew what he means.


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