Thursday, September 30, 2010

What annoys you the most?

What annoys you the most about writing? Is it a struggle or confusion? What element confounds you the most?

For me it is the comma. I have always detested the comma and feel that comma splice is among the most offensive forms of writing. I would rather see no commas at all than one thrown in for the heck of it. So, yeah, my crit group loves to decorate my MS with commas. I have always felt that commas (at least in some uses) are subjective. BUT they are necessary, and so, I will list the most common reasons to use a comma as a way of clearing my conscience.

1. Series of 3 or more with a single conjunction
EXAMPLE: Amy bought toothpaste, lotion, and lip gloss at the store.

2. Parenthetic expressions or nonessential clause/phrase
EXAMPLE: Cassey, on the other hand, wanted to go to the mall.
EXAMPLE: My rose garden, when in full bloom, is beautiful.

UMMM...let's see

3. Introductory phrases/clauses before main clause
EXAMPLE: While I was sleeping, Mom cleaned my room.

4. Separating two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction
EXAMPLE: The town shut down at noon, but I continued to window-shop.

UGH this is painful!

5. Two or more coordinating adjectives (Though, why have so many adjectives in the first place?)
EXAMPLE: The sweet, gentle child fell fast asleep.

There are loads more, but as I hate them I will stop at 5. Now what about you? What element of writing confounds you? What drives you crazy?


  1. Jeez, if commas were my biggest problem, I'd have it made!

    The first thing that popped into mind in answer to your question was "plotting." But if that's the case, maybe I shouldn't be a writer. :) Maybe what I mean is "getting characters to where they're supposed to be in a timely and non-boring fashion." That sounds better.

    See, my story HAS a plot (a good one I think!!) but there are certain parts where things fall apart a bit. And I. can't. stand. it.

    Why can't they just do what I tell them to do!?!? :)

  2. LOL! I know what you mean. During my 2nd revision I worked hard to keep things central to my plot. I required a lot of trimming, but definitely helped.

  3. I forget the rules and have a tendency to put a comma where I think it should go, and then worry about it later :)