I finished reading “The Other Boleyn Girl” this weekend. Having fictionalized history before in a short story, I am always in awe of people who can do it for novels. It’s very hard to translate dry, non-fictional history into something interesting. I am even more in awe of people who can write a novel where the outcome is known, yet you keep turning the pages with your breath held, because you want to see how it turns out.
That being said, I had one major disappointment with the novel: it was riddled with grammatical mistakes. Every page seemed to lack commas were they are necessary (as opposed to the ones which are optional). There were numerous run-on sentences/comma splices, plus incomplete sentences.
I’ll allow for run-on sentences and incomplete sentences in dialogue, because people do not speak with perfect grammar, but these errors were not in dialogue; they were in the regular text.
I don’t fault Philippa Gregory that much, because she is clearly a good writer–not everyone who can tell a good story also has impeccable grammar (especially if you have a large book to write in a short amount of time)–but this is why agents and publishers employ editors. Did no one go through the book with a red pen before it was sent to publishing? Even worse, I was reading a new edition. Even if the book was rushed to print the first time, these errors should have been corrected before subsequent editions went to press.
This made me pick up Acceptance and get back to work on making my grammatical/typo corrections. I’ve been procrastinating too long; I need to finish it and start sending it out to publishers.
I also have to do some major rewriting of The Flames of Prague. My husband and a friend both read it, and while they liked the characters, they both said it was too quick and I didn’t spend enough time with the characters, especially in the second half of the book, where I have two main characters, not just one. So I am going to go back to my original idea, which is to have it as two separate books. I originally combined the two because I didn’t think I had enough material to support two separate books, but having completed it–and gotten attached to my characters–I think I can push both of them out to the 70,000-75,000 count necessary.