Punctuation and Pet Peeves Part 1

Note from Devin: Hello Everyone, I would like to introduce Katie J. Cross. She is a great writer & avid reader, obsessed writer, and often spends too much time in her own little world. She plans on self-publishing her first book, Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, by the end of the year. Visit her at www.kcrosswriting.com

1001755_960976474920_1189356152_n hi and thanks for, reeding my post tooday its really grate that you stoped by! i am a writer for ya fantasie & im thinking its a grate genre to right in cuz of allll that kewl stuff you can read about you know what i meeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaan?!?!

I have three major pet-peeves in life.

1. People who chew with their mouth open.

2. Lazy punctuation

3. Bad spelling.

There’s nothing that can be done about my first pet peeve, except for throwing my fists on the table and telling them they chew like a heifer.But there is much that can be done for the second and third.

Today, I’m going to focus on my pet peeve for lazy punctuation and why it’s bad for any author (especially indie authors) to be associated with it. That’s really what you guys care about, right? How you look? Don’t lie.

You care. If you don’t, you should.

Then next time I’ll tackle bad spelling and why it makes me cringe like a cold bath of water.

Let’s talk about three reasons you don”t want, to write! with Punctuation: like this?

  1. It detracts from the story.

The story is the most important thing to an author. Bottom line. Anything that detracts from your characters, from your purpose, from your plot, is bad. The worst scenario for you as author, and as a reader, is to get to the final scene, that last battle between the hero and the monster, and realize that it’s missing a period.

The knight lifted his sword, then screamed in a fit of passion, “I will slay you and save the princess She is more beautiful than rubies!”

While it may not seem like a huge deal, you notice it, don’t you?

When you write an article, a blog post, or a novel, you want the words and punctuation to flow so smoothly that the reader forgets they are reading. My goal as an author is to write seamless work. No breaks. No stops. No reason to lift an eyebrow and tilt your head in confusion.

Did she really put an exclamation point AND a question mark?

  1. First impressions are key.

Have you ever been on a blind date with a person that smacks their food and smells like a barnyard? (See pet peeve #1) Grating, isn’t it? They’re a far cry from winning my hand for a second date, that’s for sure.

Writing is not that different.

When you take your reader out on a date, success is always about putting your best foot forward. Straighten your clothes, brush your hair. Shower, for craps sake. Most dates don’t care how many other dates you’ve been on (or books you’ve written), they care about this date. The one they are on. The here and now.

As an indie author, you never know who is reading your book. It could be a future agent, a new publisher, or your future significant other. They may not be that impressed with the decision to end every sentence with an exclamation point!

Everything is so exciting!

Word goes around. It’s true what they saying in dating, and in writing.

Your reputation precedes you.

  1. Poor punctuation makes you look lazy.

I downloaded a book on my Kindle a few days ago from a first-time indie author with the intent to read her little darling, review it, and hopefully host her on my website to help her out. Within the first three chapters of the book, I’d seen a few run-on sentences and some missing apostrophes.

It’s only been three chapters.

Granted, no one is perfect, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t be forgiving. Even in published works there are mistakes left behind, and those have been through a lot of different eyes. We’re human. We make mistakes.

What I am trying to say is that punctuation is something we, as authors, have control over. It may require us to scan our manuscript 8,000 times, or hire an editor, or have our bloodthirsty neighbor that’s a high school English teacher attack it with her red pen.

It’s that kind of dedication that keeps and maintains a reputation as a good author.

And in writing, your reputation is your career.

Now it’s time for you to sound off! What examples of bad punctuation have you come across in writing? Do you think punctuation is a big deal


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