Introduction Copy

Home > Introduction Copy

Click on the Play button to hear a message from Anne.

Although the words you choose, and how you put them together, matter, punctuation also has an important role to play.

If you’re not sure what punctuation to use and where to put it, worry about this can hamper your progress.

This course explains all.

Should you worry about punctuation while writing?

When you are writing, if you manage to punctuate at the same time, all well and good. It will save you time when you’re editing. However, don’t let it slow you down – or trip you up and interrupt your flow.

In my first drafts, I write dialogue – without punctuation for dialogue, and often without speech tags. This is a slightly edited version of a scene from Lucinda’s Legacy – I’ve included end punctuation so it makes a bit of sense!

When should you worry about punctuation?

In the RedPen Editing cycle, checking punctuation happens at Step 9 – after paragraphs and sentences and words. It’s the last item on the list!

However, some writers prefer to cast an eye over spelling, punctuation and grammar each time they work on a scene or chapter.

My strategy is as follows:

  • I write my first draft without paying much attention to punctuation.
  • I read completed scenes through on screen, fixing typos so that the sense is clear.
  • I read chapters out loud to discover the typos I missed on screen!
  • When I’m ready to share with others, I make sure the punctuation is perfect.

It’s a waste of time perfecting a scene that might be cut … or moved … or rewritten.

How much do you need to know about punctuation?

There are some basic rules – end-of-sentence punctuation – that you need to master.

After that, if you are uncertain, my advice is to apply the KISS principle.

Keep It Simple Sunshine

However, the more you understand, the more power you have in the delivery of your story.

So, read on and absorb as much as you can.