Monday, 4 June 2018

Author's Guide to Comma Splices

In today’s editing tip for fiction authors we'll take a quick look at the comma splice.

A comma splice occurs when you connect two separate main clauses with a comma, and they are occurring all the more frequently in literature these days with so many people (and publishers) shying away from other punctuation marks.

Here is an example to show what I mean by a comma splice.

Nicki sat down to read a new book, she had already finished the other one.

You might also see the same sentence written with no punctuation at all, which is known as a run-on sentence.

Nicki sat down to read a new book she had already finished the other one.

Luckily, there are several ways in which you can fix both of these grammatically incorrect sentences.

1) Add a full stop
Nicki sat down to read a new book. She had already finished the other one.

2) Add a conjunction
Nicki sat down to read a new book since she had already finished the other one.

3) Use a semi-colon
Nicki sat down to read a new book; she had already finished the other one.