How to Avoid Writer's Hell: Your Style? Oh, Hell No! [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Faith Bicknell-Brown
eBook Category: General Nonfiction/Reference
eBook Description: This is book III of a series that addresses most of what there is to know about writing a tight, exciting story. In Laymen's terms and with a touch of irreverent humor (and her rolled newspaper...mwahaha!), Ms. Bicknell-Brown discusses a new comma dilemma, when to use semi colons and colons, more on participial phrases, dangling participles, infinitives and split infinitives, dialogue tags, alliteration, writing blurbs, and much more. Watch for book IV which will cover writing the dreaded query letter and detailed synopsis, etc.
eBook Publisher: Wild Child Publishing/Wild Child Publishing, Published: 2008, 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: July 2009
"Almost any writer can benefit from her concise explanations and writing pointers..." 4.5 Dark Angels by Frost, Reviewer for Dark Angel Reviews
Don't fall prey to new trends in grammar and punctuation. Do your homework! I've noticed some changes in punctuation that although they aren't mandatory rules right now (and it may be years before these rules are officially changed by NYC publishers), they are causing confusion amongst writers and some editors. What am I talking about? It's the comma in compound sentences where the two clauses, whether independent or not, share a similar or same idea. Some publishers and universities are allowing the comma to be removed. Uh ... can we say confusion?
This sort of stuff hits my hot button. I see why publishers switched to using only one space between sentences. It saves paper, ink, typesetting time, file download size/time, and money. I even understand why the comma before the word too at the end of a sentence is no longer used. (Example: I want to go to the party too. Note the missing comma. This form is now used 90% of the time.) However, removing a comma from a compound sentence because the clauses are similar, related, or the same is pure laziness, in my opinion, and it contributes to dumbing down the populace.
Confused? Well, that's exactly what this "new" rule is doing to writers and many editors!
Look at the following examples:
Jane hurried to the theater and bought two tickets.
We hurried to the theater, and Jane bought two tickets.
In the first sentences, Jane is the subject and she's doing BOTH actions of hurrying and buying. Right? Right. In the second sentence, we is the subject of the first independent clause and we is hurrying to the theater. Right? Right again! Okay, in the second clause, Jane is the subject doing her own action of buying. Now, since there are two different subjects of we and Jane doing two different actions of hurrying and buying, a comma IS needed to separate the two.
However, some publishers and universities are saying that it isn't necessary to put a comma into such compound sentences because the subjects of we and Jane are both involved in actions at the theater and because the clauses are very short.
Whoa. Wait one cotton-picking minute. Many writers will holler "Yeah! Fewer commas to worry about!" Some editors may even rejoice with the same sentiments. But stop and think for a moment. Ask yourself this: what does this practice do to the English language?