Tactical Tuesday: Advice for Self-Editing

We're still on the subject of comma placement. Here are five more rules to help you self-edit your manuscript into publication:

Comma Rule #11: When composite adjectives are used, a comma is not necessary as each of the adjectives modify each other. However, when coordinate adjectives that modify the noun are used, a comma should be placed between the adjectives.

Example: The murky green waters of the bayou were not enough to prevent the hungry, lurking, predatory gator from searching for a tasty meal.

In the above example, murky describes the green and green describes the waters, while hungry, lurking, and predatory all describe the gator.

Comma Rule #12: When setting out examples introduced by such as or especially, a comma is used.

Example: I love specialty candies, such as truffles and key lime fudge.

Comma Rule #13: Use a comma when a word or a part of a sentence is omitted.

Example: Some classmates I met at my last reunion were successful; some, more so.

Comma Rule #14: When adjectives follow the noun they describe, they are set off with commas.

Example: The picnic table, scarred by the etching of teenage lovers, sits as it has always done beside the concession stand.

Comma Rule #15: When a statement is followed by a confirmatory question, the question is set off from the sentence with a comma.

Example: John will make it here for Christmas, won't he?

Next week we'll discuss the last five rules of comma placement.

Please have a very Merry Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Fay. I always thought commas were the one thing I knew, but a critique partner who's a teacher in her day job changed and/or deleted my commas and replaced them with others. Now, I'm so confused. I'll have to go look for your 1st 10 comma rules and then stay tuned for the last 5. You've written them in a very easy-to-reproduce format, so I'll be copying them and posting them near my computer. Thank you very much.