The Importance of Punctuation

Do you have any idea how torturous it is to judge a contest submission littered with incorrect punctuation? One or two misplaced commas are no big thing, but too many and the story is lost in a sea of run-on sentences that make no sense.

Many RWA chapter-sponsored contests don’t take off points for improper formatting. Every one of them should. It would make it easier for their judges to base their scores on only the quality of the story. All contestants hope to final so their ms will be read by the final judge–usually an agent or editor. Imagine the final judge has two manuscripts, but only one can be the winner. Both stories are equally compelling, but one is formatted correctly and all punctuation is perfect. The other drove him/her insane with errors. Which will the A/E choose?

2 thoughts on “The Importance of Punctuation

  1. Hey LisAnne:

    I love your blog. Some terribly wise author person told me that they go through ‘black moments’ with their writing. Looks like you had one of those moments earlier this week. So, you are in good company. We all have those times right? The important thing is the going through part. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Happy writing.

    Eden Glenn


    • Hello Eden,

      Thank you! I love the theme I picked for this blog, too.

      I did go through a black bear mood this week, but thank God it passed. I’m usually not a grouch. It seems more people were irritable than normal this week. Must have been the cold weather. I’m so freakin’ glad the temps are on the rise.



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