Yes, grammar governs writing by its intricate body of regulations and, of course, exceptions. Stephen King said in his book On Writing that if you don’t know the basics—like a sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a dot—it’s too late. We’re not going to spend a lot of time on basic grammar rules, but we discuss shortly what authors can and can’t do with the craft of writing.
Let’s begin with perhaps the most feared punctuation mark, the comma. I like to call the ‘comma’, a small dot. It separates words, thoughts and clauses in a similar way like the dot, but to a smaller extent. A dot is a long pause, a comma a short one.
Authors can do a lot with a comma, especially in a dialogue. They can give the reader a clear idea about the how a character speaks, by using the commas for pauses or avoid using them altogether, to show the rush of the character’s emotions or passion during a particular scene.
In his book, The Little Gold Grammar Book: Mastering the Rules That Unlock the Power of Writing, Brandon Royal gives numerous of examples of correct use of commas, whether they are listing commas, joining commas, omission commas or commas of any other type.
What are your thoughts on comma use?