There, I’ve said it.
I think I’ve always been a Commaunist, deep in my heart, but now, as I work on this novel, it’s something I can’t hide anymore.
See, the problem is, I was an actor and a singer long before I decided I needed to write. I studied music theater and vocal performance at Kutztown University, and I acted and sang in concerts and theater companies all around eastern Pennsylvania. So, when I decided to write, I started writing like an actor and a singer. I started writing lines as I heard them being spoken. And to show where I heard the pauses in a spoken line, I would place a comma.
This has lead to me using perhaps double the commas of other writers, and I first discovered this while helping my mother-in-law publish her first book, Outrageous Grace. While we were going through the editing process we hired my dear friend Eric Johnsen to proof read the manuscript. When he handed it back a few days later, he pointed out that in a few of the chapters, “somebody was comma-crazy”. Imagine my surprise when I realized they were all the chapters that I had written material for!
But the truth hadn’t really hit me yet. That didn’t happen until a couple of months ago. I was writing a line about a mercenary leader and his band, and this is the sentence I produced.
His men, however, were fair game, and he was sure they would be much poorer, one way or another, by the end of the night.
Holy Toledo! I read this line several times to make sure I was seeing right. If there were any more commas, I might as well just revert to slashes like song lyrics use. They wouldn’t be any more distracting.
And that, dear friends, is when I realized I was a Commaunist.
I’m going to a support group now, and I’m hoping that the anit-Commaunist seminar I’ll be attending soon will help. But I fear, deep in my heart, that I will always be one, will always be weak. Yes, dear reader, I, indeed, use far, far too many comma’s.
But perhaps you didn’t notice….