Tag Archives: Grammar


like-dislike2LIKE: The feeling of fulfillment.
DISLIKE: Knowing that it does not matter how much time and effort you put into your works, you will never please every reader.

LIKE: Positive feedback.
DISLIKE: The suspense of waiting for a critique.

LIKE: The oneness with your imagination.
DISLIKE: When I post something new, I get obsessed with my stats for that day.

LIKE: The ability to create and control a world with words. It’s like writing the pictures in my head.
DISLIKE: Trying to get published.

LIKE: Having conversations with other writers about their works, and being able to understand their thoughts and feelings.
DISLIKE: When I send out a query, and the agent does not respond; not even a rejection.

LIKE: The encouragement and enthusiasm of so many people for me to publish my book.
DISLIKE: Knowing that it doesn’t matter how many rereads I do, I could still make human errors.

LIKE: Knowing that I am doing what I’ve always wanted to do.
DISLIKE: There is no formula to master. There are rules of grammar and punctuation, but a story can be grammatically correct and well punctuated without being the least bit entertaining. The ability to engage your audience is a talent.

LIKE: People assuming my name is Selima (funny).
DISLIKE: Knowing that even if your book is great, a publisher may not give you a contract because they’ve met their quota on your genre, or the theme is not ‘hot’ right now.

LIKE: When I get started, writing is all I want to do.
DISLIKE: When I start writing, I push everything else in my life aside.

LIKE: Knowing that there is always more to learn.
DISLIKE: Knowing that there is always more to learn.



Does any of my fellow writers frustrate themselves about the placement of commas as much as I do?

As a soon to be self-published author, I am undecided about which punctuation standard to use: US, UK or Caribbean. I am an Island Girl, but most of the books I have read use the US standard. My books will be available online to anyone, anywhere in the world, and since I expect an audience from the US and UK as well, I wonder:

How much of a difference does punctuation style make, especially to the readers?

Today, punctuation is a clash between rules and style. I never underestimate the importance of rules because a comma in the wrong place can change the meaning or readability of a sentence.

It is a good practice to stick to the rules of one country. If a writer is fortunate to have their work published in a subsequent country (e.g. US author also published in the UK), the UK publisher may change the punctuation to suit their rules. This brings me to another question:

How should a self-published author choose a standard if they market mainly online?

In the Caribbean, we do not put commas before conjunctions, even if they separate two clauses. We follow the general rule of separating words in lists with commas. However, we do not put commas after the second-to-last item on a list, if a conjunction follows it. E.g. basketball, football, tennis and swimming.

Examples of other rules for commas

– Commas after sentence introductions. YES
E.g. As you are well aware,
On a beach in the Caribbean,

– Commas after transitional phrases. YES
E.g. Therefore,

– Commas before speech marks. YES
E.g. He told her, “Please leave me alone.”
Annie asked, “Could you be quiet?”

Good Writing

One attribute of good writing is that it should be easily understandable. A reader should not have to reread a sentence to understand what the writer meant. For this to happen, it is important to follow rules. On the other hand, a writer’s style is distinct by the words they choose, the length of their sentences and how they punctuate and structure their sentences. Their style is usually influenced by the genre or the purpose of their works.

Please comment on this post. I would greatly appreciate some advice.