Being Human

I need to address something. A few people have highlighted typos in the early versions of Bad People. I get it. They’re annoying, and, if you’re a grammatical hound dog, they can spoil the flow of the book and cause undue stress. Writers are prone to mistakes. We don’t go out to intentionally frustrate our readers. Honestly. Novels are usually around 65k to 100k words. For those that have attempted to commit that many words to paper, they’ll know it’s a gruelling and arduous task. Writers write in the mornings, afternoons, post-midnight. We write after a full day’s work (yes, writing does not pay well so we need a day job). We write in rooms with televisions blaring children’s shows and music videos. We write in cafes and on public transport. We write as much as possible in every spare moment we have because to tell a story is the most important thing to us. For many, it’s therapy, essential – it’s the one thing they have that stops them going crazy. To write is to block out the darkness, the pain, the headaches and heartaches. And we do it the best we can so that maybe, just maybe, someone will read the “story” and see on that page something personal, something that is relatable. Something that transcends life. This is what a writer attempts to do, and when that manuscript is finished, they are nervous and excited to get it into the world in the hope, however fragile that hope is, someone will read it. That process takes months, sometimes years. And, if that writer is lucky enough to see their book in print, they have a long wait to see what the world thinks. Believe me, that wait is the most painful of the whole process. Silence is a horrible critic. But my god, when that first review comes in, and it’s positive, your heart bloats. But sometimes it breaks just as easily when the second review comes in that isn’t so positive. And yes, the humble writer, who has spent months trying desperately to create something that keeps them buoyant during hardship, they realise that all that work in building characters, creating pathos and bathos, of tuning the narrative and tendering tension in all the right places, they realise that common typos have diluted all their efforts.

A writer is a human being. They have skin, and though it thickens over time, it stills tears when simple mistakes are made. To all those that purchased the first run of Bad People, I wish to extend my apologies for being human. I made mistakes. I put grammatical speed bumps in the road. I spoilt your journey. And no review highlighting these issues will cut deeper than my own self-criticism. But shit happens. And I’m not the first, nor will I be the last writer to make mistakes. The article below highlights some of the greatest writers of our time offering books to the world that were imperfect, and yet loved by many. I too hope one day to be loved equally, and that people see beyond my imperfections. This update has not been proof read for obvious reasons.

Published by craigwallwork

Craig Wallwork is the author of the novels, Bad People, Labyrinth of the Dolls, The Sound of Loneliness, To Die Upon a Kiss, and the short story collections, Quintessence of Dust, and Gory Hole. His short stories have been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and feature in many anthologies and magazines both in the U.K. and U.S. He currently lives in West Yorkshire.

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