English? Depends which English you’re talking about…
I’m in the middle of my first end-to-end edit of Thunder. So, I suppose the good news is, that I’ve finished the base draft! The bad news is, I didn’t let my writing get bogged down during the bulk writing and, as a result, there’s quite a lot of tidying up to be done. I think it will be a few weeks before I’ll feel happy enough to release an initial preview copy to my alpha readers.
This first edit is also where I’m trying to lock down some of the formatting decisions, including choice of language…
Simpleton that I am, I laid out Firebird in British English. It made sense to me. I’m British. It’s how I spell and write. Unfortunately, I hadn’t considered that my book might sell internationally, and I certainly didn’t expect it to do more than three times as well, overseas, as it does at home.
Equally, I laid Firebird out with single quote marks for speech. It’s not my favourite form of punctuation (note: British English spelling of favorite) but it’s the method used in virtually every print book I’ve ever looked at. Perhaps this is a British thing too? Perhaps it’s only British print books which are laid out in this way? I can’t think why it’s done though? Maybe the printers are trying to save a tiny amount of ink…?
Anyway, both of the above points have been picked up by one or two readers as being negative attributes for Firebird and, given that I need to prepare my works a little less parochially, I’m changing both facets for the new book.
As it is, I’d already laid out Thunder with traditional sixty-six and ninety-nine punctuation (“Like this,” he says, somewhat nonsensically… ‛As opposed to, like this…’). Personally I think this is a more pleasing-to-the-eye layout.
As for the spelling… Well, I’m now having to rely on the Mac’s International English dictionary which is an odd feeling. It’s tough being told by my computer that I’m no gud at spelling in my own language…!