Give Your Writer Resources: Article Two

No matter your message, no matter how beautiful your language and style, if your editors can’t make sense of what you are writing, you’ll most likely never be published. Even if you bypass editors and self-publish, your readers must understand your stories. And even more important, you want to make sure you’re writing exactly what it is you want to say. Take the following example:

When lightning struck John Henry fainted.

How many people are we talking about in this sentence? A comma changes the meaning of the sentence completely.

When lightning struck, John Henry fainted.

Or, is it?

When lightning struck John, Henry fainted.

It makes a difference to John, and to John Henry as well, and as a writer, the clarity of your sentences should make a difference to you. Look at the difference a comma and spelling make in this example:

What’s that in the road ahead?

What’s that in the road, a head?

Again, the entire meaning of the sentence changes when grammar is changed.

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