Thursday, July 9, 2009

Those Crazy Deadlines!

Hello, friends, and welcome to the No Doze brigade. Don't laugh! I'm up to my neck editing a 300-page Christian book. The publisher gave me one (say it slowly, O-N-E) week to do it! The in-house production editor laughed when I asked for extra pay for sleep-deprivation. Ahhh, the mysteries of the publishing industry. We just love those crazy deadlines! But hey, it's work, so who's complaining?

Meanwhile, the temperature in DFW was 103 today, but the heat index was 109. Whew! I can't wait to see what August will be like. And where will I be in August? Orland, Florida, for the Melaleuca convention. Hot, muggy, sticky Florida. Would somebody please just shoot me?

All in all it's been a good week, though. After having heat exhaustion from working in the yard too long, my 91-year-old mom got a clean report from her doctor yesterday. So all is well. Think she looks 91?

Here's another installment on our series of "Writing Myths." I hope it's helpful.

Writing Myth #9:

Punctuation Doesn't Really Matter That Much
Wrong! Punctuate it right or die. Punctuation makes or breaks your writing. It does matter. Punctuation helps the readers accurately grasp what you want them to understand. If the punctuation is wrong, you have misunderstanding and poor communication. Punctuation affects the rhythm and flow of your writing. When it’s correct, your writing is powerful. Strong. Punchy. When it’s wrong, your writing stumbles along weakly. It, just, doesn't, move, the, way, it, should, don't you see? If you want to impress your editor, get it right. Well done punctuation is the mark of a truly professional writer.

The best resource for making sure your punctuation is correct is The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition (University of Chicago Press: Chicago, IL 2003). Chicago is the industry's primary reference book for all things editorial. If you want to be a pro, get it, study it, learn it. It's a true necessity, but get a discounted copy on, because it's fairly expensive.

Blessings, all,


Next time?

Writing Myth #10:

Perfecting the Passive Voice

1 comment:

Jennifer Stair said...

I love this! Yes, punctuation does matter. My favorite example of the importance of something as simple as a comma is this:

"I dedicate this book to my parents, the pope and Mother Teresa." Ha!