Sunday, 30 March 2008

I 'HEART' WRITERS / I 'HATE' COMMAS

First off a HUGE thank you to Erik Smetana for my kick-ass new banner. Check it out - isn't it fabulous. I jigged a few of my colours around to complement it, and I believe the whole page now has a fresher look.

Second, I want to send HUGE thanks to Leah Clarke for proofreading my Robots Beyond submission. The editor, Lane Adamson, liked the story - that's good, right? Lane, however, also pointed out that the commas in particular needed work. I am now mid revision of the story and sitting surrounded by print outs on commas and transitive/intransitive verbs. God help me, I think my brain is going to explode.

Oh, and I can resubmit the story. Picture someone gnawing on her fingernails.




Am I paranoid about the commas in this post? Yes, yes, yes. Do I think I have improved? Yes, yes, I hope so.

13 comments:

Ed Pahule said...

I, am just awful, when it comes to commas, because I like to use them, as pauses, in my sentences, which, I think, is probably wrong.

Catherine J Gardner said...

I'm a dunce. I honestly believed that commas were all to do with how you said the sentence out loud, that you placed them where you take a breath. I was wrong. I was beyond wrong. I think I'm getting to grips with them now*.

*Though don't bet on it.

K.C. Shaw said...

It's not your fault that you thought you had to put a comma where a spoken-aloud pause occurs. That's what elementary school teachers used to tell their students. When I did my student teaching a few years ago, I taught a punctuation unit to my fifth graders, and when we reached commas my mentoring teacher told me NOT to tell the kids about the pause-comma myth!

I am still comma-happy myself, though.

Sounds hopeful on the story! If you need another beta-reader, I'm happy to volunteer.

Catherine J Gardner said...

Thanks, KC. I sent the story off to 'Robots Beyond' a couple of hours ago. Fingers crossed. I'm not really expecting to make it into the anthology, but I do think I've learned a heck of a lot revising the story so it's all good.

Jeff Parish said...

That's always an important lesson learned. Commas give nearly everyone trouble. Actually, I find punctuation in general seems to be a mystery to a lot of people, particularly non-writers.

Erik Smetana said...

Best of luck with the re-sub, hope it works out. I feel your pain with the comma issue. My past (and often present) abuse of the thing all ties back to elementary school like KC talks about. Arrrgghh.

Catherine J Gardner said...

I am learning to love commas - or rather, I don't hate them quite as much as I did.

My story has been placed on the 'probable' list, but the list is longer than the amount of openings left. I will have no fingernails left by April 4th...

Barry said...

I tend to abuse semi-colons.
Also, I wanted to send something in fro Robots Beyond but I cna't force myself to write anything remotely sc-fi. I try and I try, but nada...

K.C. Shaw said...

Ooh, at least you don't have to wait months to hear! Just until Friday, and if the answer's no, hey, it's still Friday.

danette said...

Commas, the bane of writers everywhere.

Commas--the bane of writers everywhere.

Commas: the bane of writers everywhere.

Catherine J Gardner said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

KC - I like your attitude.

Mary said...

I’m glad to have read this. :)

As I suspected, I’m not being too perfectionist in my concern about commas. They can be tricky little beasts!

Jessica Millis said...

Haha you hated commas. Me too, occasionally as I misplaced it. So the thoughts has lost its meaning. You get the idea.

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