Oh man, I've spent the evening going through my manuscript using "Grammarly" to review the bits my proofreader didn't proofread because she thought I should delete them, or because they are new.
My brain hurts, my eyes hurt and my commas are aching - but all in all, a fairly positive experience. My punctuation seems to be nowhere near as bad as it was, say, this time last year when I discovered that the 70s system of leaving us little darlings to get on and be creative, and never mind whether any of us would ever be able to make ourselves understood on the page, sucked eggs.
I had no idea I couldn't punctuate for toffee. I knew my spelling was a mess but that's easily dealt with, but punctuation?? So, I hit the books. I did the whole "Eats shoots and leaves" thing (getting really het up at the writer, frequently), bought various tomes, studied various web sites and came to the conclusion that it was all extremely confusing. Commas are a particular pain the bum, I've found.
"Always put a comma in this kind of sentence, except when it's raining or there's a good chance of rain and there's a "p" in the month. And never, ever use one in that context - the one you always use one in - if you haven't phoned your Mother for a week (regardless of her mortal state)". Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
So, I might not have got it spot on yet but I've improved a great deal. A warning, however, my blog is not my manuscript, it is my escape - so if any smart alec, pedant wanker out there feels the need to correct me on anything in this blog - don't.
Tune: The Used - Hospital