Consider this simple sentence for a moment:
Woman without her man, is nothing.
Now let’s add a full stop, move the comma and see what happens….
Woman. Without her, man is nothing.
See? This is how important punctuation is when we write. Fellow authors among you will know this painfully well. Some of us even employ professionals to do the proofreading for us, others (like yours truly) employ the kindness and time of friends for this purpose.
When I entered the Indy word, I naively thought that punctuation had no rules and that it was up to me to use commas, dashes, exclamation marks etc as I pleased. Moreover, I wasn’t even aware of the full range of quaint little symbols available that could better my writing. I mean, I wouldn’t have known what an em dash was even if it had escaped the page to strike me right between the eyes! Of course, down the road I soon realized I was wrong to be so blasé about this aspect of writing. After reading a bit on line, and with the gentle guidance of more knowledgeable than me fellow authors, I’ve now managed to bring my writing to a better place, where punctuation is concerned.
If anything, this gave my beta readers a break as I must have hurt their eyes at first pretty bad!
I recently found this article on line about the use of the comma, which I found to be a little gem. Short and concise, yet highly informative and comprehensive, I thought it would benefit my fellow indies. Its author is a freelance editor and writer called Sirra.
Her brief article, titled ‘Comma 101’, covers the infamous serial comma as well as all other typical uses of it, such as in dates, addresses, titles, etc.