I just finished Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and am now prepared to issue a formal apology to the Graceling copyeditor for my comma and semi-colon use. While reading Bronte I suddenly realized that my punctuation teachers in life were the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, Henry James, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, E.M. Forster, and Theodore Dreiser, to name a few. In other words, people from long ago whose writing styles (and bodies) are now dead.
No wonder, dear copyeditor, that you and I drove each other crazy last fall!
As I revise Fire, I’m trying to do better.
But! Keep your dastardly red pencil sharp, because I still love commas way more than other people do, and though my entire team of critics is wearing me down, I still have plenty of fight left. Like Aragorn, Gandalf, Arwen, and most of all, my husband Eomer, I am the protector of small, misplaced creatures. (Commas. Not hobbits.)
In other news, last week the Italian publisher De Agostini gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Thank you to my mother’s motherland. Viva Italia!
P.S. If you know from whence I stole the title of this post, o/! We are reading companions. And perhaps you have trouble with your punctuation, too?