NaNoWriMo Writing Tip #7: Punctuation

There are basically five punctuation errors that every writer must avoid.  These are: 1.  The Comma Splice - Two sentences joined only with a comma.

Example: He fell into the pool of water, his clothes soaked up the cold wetness.  This should be two sentences.

2.  The Run-On Sentence or Fused Sentence - A sentence containing two complete thoughts jammed together unnaturally.

Example: Edward's skin lit up like a nuclear bomb his face shining gloriously as if to blind the world.This should be two sentences or should be revised to incorporate both thoughts.

3.  The Sentence Fragment - A sentence that does not contain a complete thought.

Example: I can find the horcrux.  If I wanted to.  Either combine the sentences or finish the thought of the second phrase.

4.  Dialogue Rules - All dialogue should be surrounded by quotation marks ("") and each time a new person speaks, there should be a new paragraph... unless you are James Joyce.

5. Apostrophes -

Apostrophes indicating possession:

  • This is the girl's doll. One girl owns this doll.
  • This is the girls' doll. More than one girl owns this doll.
  • These are the girls' dolls.  More than one girl owns more than one doll.

Apostrophes indicating letters missing from words:

  • I can't find my hat.
  • I'll get right on that.
  • It's not okay to write about sparkling vampires.