Since offering my editing services I have come across all sorts. Most have a reasonable grasp of how things should be done and my main task is to spot the odd typo and flaws in the plot line. I think my special talent is spotting continuity errors, you know the sort of thing, problems solved before they have actually occurred, getting married in May when the proposal didn't happen until July (not that I have ever come across that, but it explains what I mean. Of course, it could happen in a time travel story!)
But what about someone who can tell a really good story, verbally, but has no concept of how to write it down? Can such a person be moulded into a good writer? I do hope so as I've recently come across one such writer. He dictated a story over the phone and it was wonderful. 'But my grammar's rubbish,' he confessed. His grammar sounded fine to me. Grammar in this case being the way the words are presented, in the right order. It doesn't matter whether he knows what the words are called, even I struggle once we get past the basics of noun, verb, adjective and a few others. His grammar was fine. His punctuation, however, is non-existent.
It is a sad indictment on the schooling in this country, that some people can still go through life without knowing even the basics of how to write something. OK, it was probably a few years ago that this guy went to school, maybe things are better now. Maybe he went to a bad school. Maybe he just wasn't interested back then. But it is such a waste.
I am hoping something will come of this encounter. The stories this guy has to tell are too good to miss.
Has anyone else come across this situation? What did you do?