Sunday, 5 September 2010

Comma Crazy

After reviewing the proof of Luna Black, which will be published in Pill Hill Press's Fem-Fangs anthology in October, I realised that lately I've been going comma crazy. Literally. The editor had removed 40 commas from my manuscript. 40! There were two or three I didn't agree with, but even so that left 37.

Now the editor has infinitely more experience than I and I can clearly see that there were commas that were simply not needed, but since when did I become so obsessed with commas? Has a comma laid lots of comma creatures in my head and even now they are slowly infesting my brain with millions of their comma babies?

What should I do? What would you do? Will I ever be able to look at my comma laptop key in the same way again? Are you obsessed with commas? Or are semicolons or apostrophes your vice?


  1. commas, hmm I think sometimes I don't use them enough. I have issues more with fragment sentences. LOL

  2. I used to be super obsessed with commas and still get it terribly wrong. But after all my courses and lots of red pen slashes and markings down for them I'm getting super careful with how I use them now. I still let a few slip in mind you!! LOL!!

    Good luck with yours! And congrats on your story about to be published - wonderful!

    Take care

  3. I think I don't use them menough either. I say that as a story that I had TWN had a number of commas added! I was quite surpsrised. Oh well, perhaps it's just the editor's personal preference?

  4. Oh my. I don't think I have a problem with commas, but now that you mention it - maybe I do!!

  5. I go through phases with punctuation. First it was the semi-colon, then the em-dash... now it's the ellipsis...

  6. I use quite a few commas, too. And in my blog writing, I use lots of.......(!)

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  8. Just give in and embrace your comma love!

    Comma Love


  9. Summer Ross - can I give you some of mine?

    Old Kitty - my red pen has come out too! I've been through my current stories and wiped a few commas out of existence. LOL.

    penandpaints - you could be right about the editor's preference, but I'd say in my case I had got a bit comma-happy.

    Janel - I wish there was a formula we could use to determine if our percentage of commas is too high!

    Talli - I feel bad saying I'm glad professional writers also suffer with these problems, but at least I don't feel like a complete failure. LOL.

    Jillien - it's easy to fall in love with dashes! Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Becky - you mean . . .you . . .use lots . . .of . . .these . . .?! I particularly like using them when imitating William Shatner's speech. LOL.

    Steven - oh, my. I must get me one of those! Thank you.

  10. I say use punctuation marks with abandon!

  11. Definitely commas. It's the old school thinking. Either that or convent school discipline for me!

  12. Nessa - LOL. Love them or hate them, they are the tools of a writer's trade.

    ninotaziz - aah . . .the old convent school. Were you taught by nuns? I went to a Roman Catholic primary school, despite not being RC, and the nuns were very strict. Fountains pens and NO talking. As you can imagine I got in a lot of trouble during my early years.

  13. I've more or less weened myself off excessive exclamation marks (ie most of them! - oops!) - but I still must dash!

  14. Lisa - thank you. They need a lot of feeding, their favourite food being words!

    brokenbiro - I'm sure I read somewhere the exclamation mark is making a comeback!!!!!


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