Commas . . . Take two and call me in the morning??

So, I have decided to go to “comma” school. I have prayed and prayed for comma wisdom. I have fought comma demons and secretly wished for comma fairies — all to no avail. Finally, I prayed for comma angels to come, simply gather all my commas in baskets, and sprinkle them as needed throughout my manuscript.
Maybe I need a comma doctor to prescribe commas. You know the same way a regular doctor prescribes medicine . . . take two and call me in the morning or apply liberally to affected area. I cried out in the darkness, “Help me I’m comma-ing and I can’t stop.”
 A friend gave me Diana Hacker’s, A Writer’s Reference. I thought, eureka! Now I can conquer the comma dilemma. However, alas and to my dismay, that would not be the case. While this is an awesome reference book, it seems overwhelming. I felt myself flunking “comma” school and F7on my trusty Sony VAIO was of no help.
I was good in English class in school . . . at least I thought I was good. Yes, my sister was better, she was better at everything it seemed, but I got good grades. I felt panic as I continued to make more and more comma mistakes, unable to figure it out. William Struck, Jr’s The Element of Style talked me off the edge long enough to get a cup of coffee and take a deep breath.
Which leads me to say . . . there are so many different opinions on where a comma is to be placed it is no wonder I am confused. However, there are strict rules. Several well-meaning friends said that I should be placing commas where I would naturally need to take a breath. Well, at certain parts of my book, I was so excited and in the “zone” I would be writing furiously (thus, breathing heavier.) Also, I have asthma, if I was having asthma issues, well — enough said. (I think there might be too many commas in that last little sentence. What do you think?)
Anyway, I have said all of that, to say all of this, a good editor is priceless. Priceless. A critique group is also priceless. Anytime you can get good feedback, take it. Suck it up let someone tell you where that evil comma goes! Or doesn’t. And, I do wish I had paid more attention while I was in school.
So, to comma or not to comma that is the question. I say it is better to keep writing a right first sentence, an awesome ending or finding just the right word you were looking for . . . you know the one I mean, than to stop the creative process over a “,” — comma. That is until, the final edit. Humm, that sounds like a good book title . . . “The Final Edit.” I may just use that someday. I think I’ll put that on my title list.
Keep doing the write thing children,



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