Monday, 17 October 2011
Where there's a will, there's a way...
Thinking back to where it started: April 2009, when I decided I wanted to write a compelling novel that people can't put down, when I took on the challenge to write in second language and went through with it. Though it was hard because I had to use my dictionay a lot, it was fun and a massive achievement. Writing a complete book of 120k words is massive already, let alone in second language.
Then I uploaded it on authonomy. Most people were lovely and full of admiration for me. But a few made comments like: Why don't you write it in German and submit to German publishers? I'm sure they'd love a book like that. Translation: your English sucks, so give up! People told me the book read like a badly translated manual and I was fuming. Mainly because I was upfront with writing in second language and I knew it needed proper editing. I wanted comments on the story. Besides: foreigners read the book and could follow the story perfectly fine. So it's not that I wrote something like 'he stood metal on the bread' or something like that. Some sentences didn't make much sense, but the plot was understandable. I had a few English natives who read the whole thing (first uploaded draft) and understood it just fine and liked it a lot.
I was angry and disappointed, because those who said I should write in German and let it translate by a professional, didn't believe in me, in my abilities to learn and improve. How dare you! I thought. But it didn't put me off. Oh no...I was determined to learn.
And so I did. I'm still looking at the 1500 words I got back today and smile. The best thing, though: I'm now able to write to an almost English native standard and am able to translate my books to German, which is a huge plus if you ask me.
I still got a long way to go to get to a point where I'm eventually satisfied with my skills, but thinking how far I've got, I'm sure, I'll get there in the end.
Just to be clear here: my being German is not an excuse for sloppy editing/proofing. I chose to write in English, so I will provide a perfect ms. I wouldn't want to read an error-riddled book, neither in English, nor in German.