Monday, September 24, 2012

I lied

I'm not quite as done as I thought I was.

I thought I was but while my story was deemed 'good and vastly improved' over the first draft, it was also deemed as 'could be better.' Which means a few more tweaks. Because I definitely want this story to be better than good.


Additionally  *groan* , I was informed that I did not always make proper use of the all important comma (for more on the comma check out David King's post; it was very informative!). Here's what I discovered after I received my lesson in the use of commas:

rule #1: You don't need a comma for a compound subject: The girls from St. Mary's and the boys from Bishop Shannahan will be holding a fall dance. Got it.

rule #2: You don't need a comma for a compound predicate: The man saw the skunk in the road and swerved to avoid it. Mostly got this one, too.

rule #3: But you must have a comma to separate the two independent clauses in a compound sentence: The woman screamed when she saw the deer in the road, and her husband swerved to avoid it. Basically, if the two clauses could stand alone as complete sentences, you need a comma before the conjunction. Epic Fail.

Okay, maybe not a  epic fail, but when I went back to the beginning of my manuscript I discovered (much to my dismay) I had not been following rule #3 consistently. I probably had a 20% compliance rate. Which is not good enough. Not even close!

Which is why I am not quite as done as I hoped. I do, however, have three versions of a query letter I'm playing with so progress has been made.

What are you doing? How are you progressing in your work?




31 comments:

  1. *Hides head under a pillow*
    Sorry, Marcy.

    Having just been through line edits with a publisher, I know this is expected. And having recently had a friend rejected by an agent for too many grammatical/punctuation errors in the manuscript, I know a good story will not necessarily overcome these errors in the eyes of an agent or editor. (I could tell you more privately.)

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    1. Better to know BEFORE I submit :)

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  2. I'm sorry!
    The third rule is probably the one I follow the best. Almost too much, as I tend to make a lot of long sentences using that comma when two short ones would be better.

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    1. I write long sentences, too, sometimes but I usually catch them pretty quick.

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  3. Keep going with that tweaking. You're almost there; I can feel it.

    I'm working on revisions my agent and I have decided on before subbing again. Hoping to get these completed in a month or so.

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    1. ah revisions. Sometimes they seem neverending.

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  4. Working on my blurb. Will be incorporating myself tomorrow. Book is still in proofreads. Working on a new book. Finished writing a short piece for an anthology book.

    As for commas, I get the rules mixed up, too. There are other rules I screw up as well.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  5. I'm a comma abuser. That's probably the hardest edit for me, making sure I'm consistent throughout the writing with my comma usage. Number two is the one that I probably do wrong the most.

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    1. I think it can be hard to get right. Reading out loud helps but obviously not enough.

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  6. The second two I'm fine with..had a great professor in college who basically beat these into us. The first one...meh..I keep trying to make stuff like that into the third rule...so in my mind it needs a comma. blargh. I also find the less I think about it, the better I do. The more in my head I get...well...yah. My head's a pretty messy place. :)

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    1. See, I could've sworn I was told I didn't necessarily need a comma for rule#3, that it was optional. Of course, I have no idea who told me and whether they were the sort of person who would know.

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  7. *facepalm* I didn't mean to set you back, but at the same time, I'm glad my post was helpful to you. Think of it this way. After you read through it again, it will be better than before. And that's a promise. :)

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    1. It wasn't you, it was my critique partner, but your post drove home the lesson and because I figured I wasn't alone I wanted to share it :)

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  8. I like the three rules. I'm always making those mistakes. My editing is coming along. I really want to write more though.

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    1. now that I know and understand that third one it's easy to find where I failed, but it also means yet another read through...and yes! I want to write more and edit less!

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  9. Oh these pesky commas!! Eats, shoots,and leaves! LOL!!

    Take care
    x

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    Replies
    1. I believe I shall purchase this next pay day. Thank you old kitty :)

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  10. I struggle with comma usage, all, the, time. I'm sitting on my manuscript before it goes out for a read 10/1, so for fun this weekend, I wrote my first ever query letter draft. Now I have to get to my newest manuscript, which is in its infant stages, and see if I can cajole it along to toddlerhood.

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    Replies
    1. well, I thought I knew about commas but apparently I was wrong. However, better I find out now. I'll be glad when I can start sending off queries. I have a new toy I want to play with!

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  11. Commas kill me. KILL me.

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    1. I thought I was doing ok :(

      However, now that I know this rule I don't think I'll be forgetting it which ultimately means one less thing I have to worry about revising.

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  12. Hey,

    Thanks for being so honest with your comma issues... I picked up, a few tips :)

    Good luck with the revisions :)

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  13. Thank you! I abuse commas-they hate me! I love them and over use them, all the time~ Thanks for sharing this post. I will stop being so comma-ical! ;D Now I will abuse - hyphens~

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    1. I sometimes put them where I want them instead of where they're supposed to be.

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  14. Thank goodness my editor corrects my commas. I fail at #3, too.

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  15. I tend to just throw commas all over the place, then have to edit them out during revisions. They're a pain!

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  16. Oh...my brains shuts down at such things. I think I fail at all of them. All at different times in different places in different manuscripts :(

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