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This is your downfall...

Taking a break from working on the second round of edits for Red Sunset to post a little entry about the biggest downfall I face as a writer:

comma


I know, it looks like a coiled chain, but it's really a comma. Such a small little thing, but it really is my nemesis.

I read the fantastic book Eats, Shoots, and Leaves a few years ago. If you haven't read it, you should, it's quite amusing and informative. It starts out with a little story about a panda bear. The bear goes into a restaurant and orders a sandwich. When he's done with the sandwich he jumps up and shoots a gun in the air twice, then turns to leave. The startled waiter asks why the panda shot a gun in the middle of the restaurant. The panda tosses him a "poorly punctuated wild animal guide" and quips, "I'm a panda. It's what we do. Look it up." Of course, the entry should read "eats shoots and leaves" ...but it says "eats, shoots, and leaves."

A variation is the ever popular: "Let's eat Grandma!" as opposed to "Lets eat, Grandma!"

I'm not entirely sure why commas are such a problem for me. I have a rudimentary understanding of how to use them, but I always seem to misuse them. I still remember when I was going through edits on Promises and Lies I felt like they put a ton of commas in that I had apparently left out. With Red Sunset, however, I have the problem in reverse.

I guess all it means is that before I write anything else I need to lesson myself, again, on proper comma usage.

Maybe I'll read Eats, Shoots, and Leaves again.

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