It may be that my ‘pissy attitude’ stems from not being listened to when I keep saying that my agent of 20 years – he’s only the second agent I’ve ever had – accepts whatever I send. I know his staff make changes in spelling and punctuation depending on where the material is going, whether to the U.S., the U.K., or the Caribbean. Those are the only three markets I sell to now. I checked, and three of my articles sold in the U.S. last month, one in the U.K., and four in the Caribbean. These were all non-fiction, of course. But the point is I don’t send to editors, my agent does, and what I send is modified to fit the market. My work does not end up on someone’s slush pile, I assure you.
I will yield on one issue. Half and full stops belong inside the quote marks. I now find out through an exchange of emails that that has been changed all along. I’ll now make that change myself, though it feels a bit awkward typing it that way. Double quotes would be doubly awkward because a double quote requires a double strike on the quote key, or a shift-2.
My Hart’s Rules is the 1912 edition, so perhaps you are correct and I need to update. The latest is available from Amazon. My Fowler’s is the third, Burchfield, edition from ’96 and my Oxford Concise is the Thompson edition from ’95. There are new editions of both available in Belize City at Angelus Press and I plan to update those.
I don’t want to give up, but if single quotes and minor differences in spelling obscure how the story itself is seen, then I’ll need to leave. Oddly enough, I’ve published both ‘Baby Shoes’ and ‘Venus’ on three other boards and no one has mentioned punctuation. There have been few suggestions regarding ‘Venus’, people seem to like it, but many regarding changes that need to be made in ‘Baby Shoes’ to turn it into a real story. Two or three of those changes have been mentioned here, and I’m in the process
of rewriting the story.
I’ve no interest in reading any YA books at all. I only posted in this board because of the age of the main characters. They are both 12. The guidelines appeared to indicate that this was the appropriate board. I’ve got tonnes of war stories that for sure would not fit here.
Edit – I only now noticed a couple of points I missed in your last post. First, as to how much fiction I’ve written, I estimate maybe a quarter of a million over the past six or seven years since I started trying to learn fiction. Second, I am not especially interested in whether any of my fiction is published. I’d love to have at least one short story published just to prove my agent wrong, but my goal is a personal one to learn to do something I’ve never done before. I’ve written millions of words, but very few of them have been fiction. If a requirement for staying here is some burning desire to be published, let me say this – been there, done that. Learning a, for me, new kind of writing is my object.