Good morning on this lovely Sunday, bright and warm in the study as the sun streams through.
Punctuation is not usually my favourite subject as I have to work very hard to get ‘it’ right. So, the thing is, that I learnt something very interesting about punctuation before, and during my last meeting with my wonderful supervisor. And yes she is, forever patient and yet, able to ‘speak it how it is’ when I need to hear some wisdom.
A few days before the meeting I was in the middle of reading a chapter in the early part of the novel and I noticed it was kind of lumpy. The text was okay, it conveyed what I wanted it too but something wasn’t quite right. Now don’t be judgemental…writing a story can be a hard process. Anyway I made some changes and I was happy even though – the adage of “kill all your darlings’ – rang loudly in my ears for days after.
The meeting with my supervisor was very interesting but a feeling of ‘dé·jà vu engulfed me when she said that my punctuation is really very good (get that!!!) but there are times when it doesn’t need to be, and that I might think about just writing what I want to without so many commas…they might be in the right places but they can stop the flow of the story…
And she’s right of course…and I’m really thrilled because now I don’t have to be so paranoid about the getting the ‘punctuation’ right. Instead I can make sure that the sentences flow and the story is readable.
Now you might think that I should have been writing that way all along and I am certainly trying to make sure that the story is strong and well told. But, when I was ‘reading’ my chapters I went into my version of ‘editing mode’ and writing and editing became separate processes for me. I worried about the punctuation…and making sure that I had all my commas, and full stops and capital letters in what I thought were the correct places, without realising the other functions they were performing.
So the takeaway here for me is ‘get the story down on the page’ and make sure it flows…and that it’s okay to miss a comma or two.
On another note, today, it is 24th April 2016 and I can’t let this day go by without acknowledging all of the work and commemorations for the 1916 Irish Easter Uprising. Twitter has been running amok and I love to read all of the posts. I am intrigued that events so long ago, like ANZAC services tomorrow , still call on our emotions.
Have great day:)