I received my final proofreading copy of Empowered early this week and because of the timing associated with the Pre-Release of the novel, I made all the corrections in three marathon editing sessions on Monday - Wednesday. When you process a concentrated dose of corrections, it can look and feel different than working through a few pages each day. During this session, I was faces with one clear conclusion that hadn't seemed quite so stark with my previous novels:
I am a Comma Dunce.
In fact, it appears that I've never met a comma I didn't like. I literally spent hours removing commas from pretty much every conceivable comma-based error imaginable. My biggest offense was adding commas to dependent clauses -- almost every one of them it would seem.
Truth be told, I've never paid too much attention to punctuation rules. I simply dropped commas into the document where I would naturally pause if I was reading the text aloud. Unfortunately, that's not how it should be done.
Over the past few days I've been reviewing the proper use of the comma. While I might still occasionally violate the rules, I hope to get my draft manuscripts a bit closer to "correct."