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My Comma Problem...

3 months ago

I use too many commas. I've received this comment several times before. But I don't know what to do about it. Technically, I use the commas correctly, but I suppose I just use it too often. :/ When should I split things up if certain actions are happening at the same time? When you want to say things like "before", "while", or "since", but also want to add descriptions with (I forgot what types of words they are...) words like "who" or "which", how do I... make it work?

 

My Comma Problem...

3 months ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 1/15/2017 3:05:53 AM

You have the same mental setup I have here, the commas keep the thought flowing, and I've gotten used to that. If you want to show contiguity in thought, or that a person thinks without a pause (most likely speaks very rapidly as well), commas are a great way to convey that.

In case you feel it's actively detracting from the experience you're trying to create with your writing, I'd recommend having a friend proofread and edit, usually works for me. Otherwise, try using multiple lines, when you see something overflowing. Rule of thumb, keep sentences shorter than 25 words. For multiple disjointed thoughts in one line, there's also the trusty semi colon (;). 

Hope that helped,

Cheers, StrykerL

My Comma Problem...

3 months ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 1/15/2017 1:21:48 PM
Commas are wonderful things for controlling the pace a sentence is read at and separating ideas, but easy to overindulge in. I'm pretty guilty of that, too. I'll constantly catch myself writing sentences that are like, half a paragraph long, and have to go back during the second draft and break them apart.

I couldn't say for sure without looking at a sample, but part of the issue may be that you rely too much on the example words you posted. It may be possible to rework some of your sentences to do without. 'Blah blah blah, which blah blah, since blah blah blah.' and the like make for a more conversational tone but using shorter sentences makes for more impactful writing. Especially during a scene with a lot of action going on.

And if you're not clear on where exactly a comma is appropriate, this is a pretty good article on them: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/comma/