Thursday, February 26, 2009

Put some punch in your Punctuation

Would you believe that writer’s, although they can write, are lousy at punctuation? I mean no harm here but they seem to try too hard by placing commas in places where periods go, or semi-colons where commas should go and all it would take is a little extra effort on their part to do some homework. (yes, this late in life, and *I’m* not exempt))

The wrong punctuation can throw an entire piece of writing off balance. Let’s take a look.

I need your love to be everything for me will, you be my knight, in shining armor today would be a good day for you to show your face.

I need your love to be everything for me. Will you be my knight in shining armor? Today would be a good day for you to show your face.

Some writers miss the mark all the way around. I don’t know if they think that it reads better, punctuation isn’t necessary, or that someone else will fix it for them. Well let me tell you folks, punctuation IS necessary if you ever plan on becoming a published author. Sure there are times that typo’s happen, hey, it happens. But when you are deliberately too lazy to look at your work, spelling and punctuation, then maybe you need to think yourself a hobbyist writer and not one serious about a craft.

I know a lot of people depend on their MS Word for a spell check but it being a program and not human, the robotic nature will not pick up the differences in there and their. It will not discern by from buy or want from went. It will give you a red squiggly line for incorrect spellings and your eyes may be drawn to THAT. In the process you may miss an error and let it slip through your eyes. MS Word will not find punctuation errors either. YOU need to do the work to make it comprehensible and legible to the reader.

Why is it that you want to become a writer? Because you have a quaint story to tell? In my opinion, who doesn’t have a story to tell? Everyone basically, but can they find the time to learn the skills that it will take to get their story from a mere thought to the glowing blank paper/screen?

The best thing to do as a writer is to get in the habit of proofreading your work BEFORE you click that little word, SEND. Know the rules, know the proper etiquette and by all means STUDY what you don’t know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I'm always getting into trouble with punctuation. I think I've gotten much better, but it's taken a very long time and sometimes I just backslide.
I write for the ear and what sounds great for the ear doesn't always translate well to the visual. I've decided not to give up. I am taking a special sentence class over at WVU in order to help me understand sentences at their most basic level.
I think what's important is that a writer always strives toward a greater understanding of grammar and sentence structure. I always give kudos to those who try. It's the writers who won't bother that irk me. I haven't met many of those, but the few I have met are enough to make me take a little white pill.