Comma

April 13th 2016

Today I started and finished a mini-editing project for my book. During the creative writing course I was taking a few weeks ago I learnt that I have a bad punctuative habit. I mentioned it in a post at the time, but I’ll summarise it again.

Take a look.

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 01.00.16

 

I have a habit of punctuating dialogue as it is in the second example. Which is incorrect. Dialogue should be punctuated as it is in the first example. With a comma after the speech, and a lower case ‘s’.

This, apparently, is a habit I fell into during the writing of my novel. Which meant that today I had the task of going through the entire thing and changing it from .” S to ,” s wherever it came up. Which, as it turns out, was a lot.

I had to scroll through all 60,000 words, and 114 pages of A4 changing that little piece of punctuation. Because I’m told that if an editor sees little mistakes like that when presented with a copy of a script, they’ll discard it immediately because they can see how amateurish it is from something as simple as that.

It took about an hour, probably.

About halfway through I realised that I still have nine chapters to edit properly. I thought I’d finished the complete edit the last time I opened the word document, but apparently not. I think, after those nine chapters are finished, then my work is done. But the truth is, that my work will never be done, because there will always be things that can be done to improve it. And I could just keep going through it and changing things and delaying things because I’m too afraid to do anything with it. At some point I need to accept that I have done my bit fully. It’s been in a state of semi-completion for almost two years now, and I’ve not done anything with it. Not really.

Until tomorrow, “I should probably do something about that,” he said.

Jacn

 

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