Professionalism Among Furry Writers
I was reading a review for Children of Steel and overall the review was well done, but at the end the reviewer had the following to say:
On a final note, and I debated on whether or not to bring this up in my review but decided that it was warranted, the book does need some editing for grammatical issues (apostrophes, commas, etc.). While it wasn’t enough to really detract from the story, it did recur enough that I felt it should be mentioned. (source)
What bothers me about this review, is that the reviewer states that they considered not bringing up that the book had editing issues. In something like the Furry Fandom, in published books (electronic or print) editing should be taken seriously. We as writers and editors in this fandom are responsible to try and present the best material possible, especially when people are paying upwards of $20 for a print copy ($10-$15 for ebooks).
Bad editing should not be expected. Nor should bad grammar and punctuation. Nor should they be glossed over. Yes, there will always be those mistakes that are missed by the author, editors, and publisher. However, an effort should be made to produce the best material possible. If there is a problem with the editing, that should be stated in the review, not debated over. We are no less accountable for our works than furry visual artists are to theirs.
I once did a few My Little Pony pieces of art back when that fandom was young. I was very proud of them, despite the fact that I knew the lines were not as clean as they should have been. Still, I posted them and waited for the responses. What I got were a lot of comments about my line work and how I should have vectored them like the show itself did. So what did I do? I looked up vectoring and applied it the next time I did artwork. Clean lines are equivalent to proper grammar/punctuation/spelling.
There is a large debate over furry fiction becoming mainstream. As the fandom continues to garner more and more public interest, we as writers within the fandom should strive to be as professional as possible. If we want our works to stand out and to be presented as OUR works (not our fursona’s), then we should treat our field as professionally as possible.
Just because we are ‘Furry Writers’ does not mean that we should hold ourselves any less accountable to the quality of our work.
This post first appeared on Tarl “Voice” Hoch’s blog on Goodreads.