Sunday, August 5, 2012

Out damn comma, out!

OK. I spent about 16 hours proofing 'Genome' from my Createspace paperback proof copy. As I said last post, it was an eye opener to see so many tiny 'oops'es. If I had listened to my editor, this exercise would have been much easier and shorter. Listen to your support team!

I'm too pooped to upload the doc to all my distributors tonight and I don't want to make a stupid mistake now. So tomorrows task is to upload the 'final' proof. I also have to give my corrections to Rocky to add to the Createspace version. This time he gets more than lunch!

So the purpose of this little blog is to clue you in on what 80% of my mistakes were. Commas. Silly, who notices 'em, commas. And by far most of the 'errors' were in NOT including commas in dialog following the tag line. I know, I know how could I make these mistakes? I can only said I had at least 100 errors in the first 3/4 of the book and maybe 10 in the last 1/4.

Look up 'tag line' and punctuating dialog in your favorite web site but the gist of my errors were of the flavor of:
Jack said "I'm missing a comma after the word 'said'."
It should read:
Jack said, "There's that silly comma!"

Or:
"I keep getting this wrong" Sam said.
Should be:
"Now it's better," Sam said.

The rules are pretty easy, I just wrote in a stream of consciousness and then did not go back and 'fix' the problems. I wouldn't really care, to be truthful, but going back and reading the paperback version made it obvious that the correct style makes the flow of dialogue easier to comprehend.

Don't let the flow of your story stutter and halt due to poor dialog mechanics. The flow should not get in the way of the story. Take your time.

Keep writing, buckoos!