Tuesday, March 30, 2010

bad habits

Recently I showcased a few snippets from my current WIP Finding Me. I loved all the feedback I received! It's always so nice to get some much needed encouragment on something you spend so much time on! Now I've heard this each time I've showcased my writing and it's comma usage. Not to worry I've known this for awhile but never said it out loud, today I'm going too! I'm a comma whore! Everywhere I look I've placed a comma whether needed or not it's something I haven't been able to get rid of!

If you took a look at my first draft it would drive you crazy how many commas I use on one page, it even drives me crazy! Why do I use them? To create a pause, a pause that would be there with or without a comma.

It had me thinking the other day, what bad habits have you formed while writing? Have you since corrected the problem, or do you still find yourself overusing commas? Of course your habit is probably different than mine. I make no excuse for my terrible usage of commas I only share that I do plan on fixing it, however it will be something that happens while I'm in the revision process there is currently no sense in trying to fix something that is already to big for me to handle at the moment!!

Happy Tuesday!!!

34 comments:

Christine Danek said...

I use too many dashes. I don't know why but I don't think I have corrected the porblem. I'm working on it.
Have a great day:)

Sara Louise said...

I have a thing for the semi colon; probably because it's underused and I feel sorry for it, or because my ring finger finds it too easily while typing. Either way, it's my thing.

Amanda said...

I overuse the comma too, and the word "just." I have to go weed out all the "just"s after I'm done.

Summer said...

Oh, so many, mostly charcter tics. In my rough draft, my characters nodded so much that I'm surprised their heads didn't fall off.

Also lots of gut-clenching, dizziness...Basically everyone needed some Pepto and some new descriptors.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

I overused adverbs, but have since corrected the problem. Comma usage is something I have to stay aware of while writing.

Rachel Roushey said...

I find when I write things on the internet (blogs, facebook, emails, etc.) I tend to connect things with...when I have never actually done that much with my writing...I don't know why or how this habit started...but it annoys me each time I find myself doing it.

Talli Roland said...

Happy Tuesday Jen (or should I say: Happy Tuesday, Jen)... I love the term 'comma whore'!

I'm a semi-colon whore. I use them waaaaay too much. I haven't got round to taming them yet but I shall on my next draft!

Samantha Bennett said...

I adore adverbs. I especially (see?!) love using them after tags. He said quickly, she said demurely. Sigh. Poor adverbs. They're the first to go during revisions.

Kimberly Franklin said...

You're not alone. I tend to use commas like confetti on new years eve.... in times square! Lol.
; )

Carolyn V. said...

Oh man Jen! This is embarrassing, but I do this...a lot...it's terrible. =)

Caledonia Lass said...

Hehee! I have horrible comma usage. I do this... a lot as well. I can't help it.
I also had a bad problem changing tense in the middle of the sentence. I think I fixed it, not sure. :D But my comma usage has gotten better!

InABox said...

I use "and then" ALL the time. It drives my critique partner crazy. :-)

B. Miller said...

LOL "comma whore". Thanks, Jen, that made me laugh.

My problem is slipping back into passive voice while writing something I'm not super excited about. When I slog through the slow stuff to get to the good stuff, I sabotage myself and make it even slower by using things like adverbs and words like "had" and "that" and "were watching" instead of "watched", you know what I mean. This is why having a critiquing partner is ESSENTIAL for me. Don't know what I would do without her.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Adverbs, adverbs, adverbs! I'm like a crack addict, but with adverbs. *hangs head in shame* :-)

Jen said...

I love that you all have bad habits! It reminds me that I'm not alone! Don't hang your head in shame Shannon, at least you can admit that you love adverbs! I mean who doesn't?!

Harley D. Palmer said...

I use elipses way too much in my writing - and I mean all forms of writing. I'm sure I use the dash a bit too much too.

I try to avoid this and usually don't worry about them until the second draft. The first draft is just trying to get it down on paper, so I just go with what is natural. Then during the editing/rewriting, I correct all of those elipses and dashes.

Amanda J. said...

Haha, nice blog! I love me some commas too, and that's what I was taught in elementary and junior high: if you would pause when saying it, put a comma there. It's something I've been working on- being an English major helps lol.

Readerly Person said...

I am so feeling the comma thing. I ridiculously overuse commas, dashes, ellipses, parentheses...

Maybe I just overuse everything. A punctuation addict, c'est moi!

Nicole said...

Commas are totally a weakness of mine. I'm thinking my rough draft will be full of flaws and I just have to accept that and stop editing as I go along and save that work for revisions or else I'll never get my WIP done.

Elana Johnson said...

Ah, the comma abuser. Ha!

I tag too much. Every line of dialog has some lame tag and then an action. I have to really work on that.

Melissa said...

I'm overly fond of the words just, now and then.

E. Elle said...

I've noticed I start a lot of sentences with "He" or "She." I seriously need to work on sentence variation. Each time I do it, I cringe but I can't seem to help myself.

~Jamie said...

I am the SAME way about commas! I am such a dork and I just stick em in where I think they look good :)

Thanks for stopping by Elana's blog and reading my interview today!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I think commas are a major issue for almost everyone. I find them misused all the time when I'm critiquing.

I used to have a huge problem with dialogue tags and adverbs. Once someone pointed it out to me, I got better.

Now I think my biggest problem is repetition. I like the way a word sounds and use it over and over again before realizing what I'm doing.

Susan Fields said...

I use the words "had" and "have" too much - definitely have to keep an eye on that.

ManoloChooLou said...

I'm a bit too em dash happy. I'm pretty sure I'm inconsistent with my tenses, too!

sarahjayne smythe said...

Worst habit I have is not writing, just putting it off for some mythical future. :)

Cara said...

GORGEOUS blog. i actually just happened across the comment you left on my blog a bit while back. i'm sorry it took me so long! definitely following. i'm so inspired by the fact that you're writing a book. i've wanted to for years, but can never pull myself together to do so. please follow.

LOVE.

Shelley Sly said...

Um, you mean, what bad habit don't I have in my writing? Haha.

Besides my own over-use of the comma, I'd say my other bad habit is using the word "really" too much, especially in dialogue. Probably because I say "really" a lot myself, but that doesn't mean everyone has to talk like me!

Nishant said...

I'm overly fond of the words just, now and then.
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angfla said...

Way too many dialogue tags. Way too many adverbs. I also have a problem of telling, then showing, then telling again like 'she was terrified. Her heart pounded, her mouth was dry, her palms wet. The terror made it impossible to move.' Do you think I could beat my readers over the head any more? It drives me crazy that I do it!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I overuse "Well", "Oh" and the em dash.
I try to limit them, but every once in a while I slip and go hog wild with them. :)

Robyn said...

Thanks for the comment! I love your shirt in the previous post by the way~ Happy belated birthday!

I have a question for you, as a less-than-part-time writer.
I've written a novel which is about 57 thousand words, and am attempted to get it editted using myself, and my mother. We've gone through it all once, and I've got over certain sections dozens of times. How many times should I go over it before sending it away?
Thanks!

-Robyn

Theresa Milstein said...

I overuse commas too! I hear pauses, everywhere, and, just, can't, stop. I also use "was" way too much.