Café novelist

Tips for indie authors

Basic punctuation rules

on July 2, 2013

punctuationBefore I started writing seriously I never paid too much attention to punctuation. Like most people I thought I knew how to punctuate properly, or did I? See there’s a good bit of punctuation! Ooh, and another one! So long as I put commas and full-stops in the right place I thought that was all there was to it. But when I started to look into it further I realised that it was a minefield of potential errors waiting to be exposed by any punctuation expert.
Being a perfectionist I wanted to make sure that my work was free of errors, so I searched through many forums and bought a book on punctuation. Surprisingly the biggest chapter was on commas and how they can catch, you out- see I just got caught out there. That was deliberate by the way, just for comedy effect. I was going to put an exclamation mark at the end of that sentence but one doesn’t want to overdo it, does one?!
As I read more and more I became a slave to punctuation, and you can imagine my joy when I came across ellipsis’s. Before I found out their true meaning I thought they were in reference to the different phases of the moon! And then comes the correct use of the n-dash and the m-dash. Once discovered, one can be tempted to use the m-dash over-zealously as you have your characters speech interrupted all the time.
And little did I know that after using a question mark it is not always necessary to use a capital letter.
Example: ‘Oh Heath, don’t you think it’s a little patronising, telling everyone how to punctuate properly?’ his girlfriend asked.
All grammatical errors are the sole responsibility of the author. No offence was intended towards the sensibilities of professors of the English language!


One response to “Basic punctuation rules

Thanks a lot for your interest in my post, I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

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