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?

3 comments:

  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!?!? :)

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  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.

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  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 :)

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