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August 01, 2018


Cath from Australia

Many years ago I had a boss who used far fewer commas than I do. To get past his editing I used to insert a sacrificial extra comma every couple of pages. He’d delete them with glee and leave the rest of my prose alone.

Kathy Lynn Emerson

It’s one of the great contradictions of writing that every time we try to give a character a distinct voice by having him or her use regionalisms or repetition or some other quirk of speech, the copy editor will try to change those sentences into proper English. Fortunately my most recent copy editor just queried “he was some tickled” and “going down to Farmington” and the like in the last ms. and didn’t just arbitrarily rewrite those bits. I’ve given up on commas. Unless it totally changes the meaning of the sentence, I let the c.e. have her way. I did notice, though, in the audiobook of a recent book, that the reader was pausing in all the wrong places!

Cathy M

My husband was taught that if you're trying to catch spelling errors, read what you've written from finish to start. It makes you look at each word separately and sometimes helps you catch mistakes beyond spelling. Of course this is only practical for short items but works for me for letters and comments, when I actually take the time to do it!

Elaine Viets

I love this blog, Toni. It's so true. I've been edited by the semi-colon Queen, too. She turns my books into term papers. Grrrrr!

Jane Hotchkiss

I have so many books that desperately needed copy editing and didn't get it. My reviews note these problems; I demote by at least one star.

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