Sarah J. Carlson

Contemporary Young Adult Author

Hey writer friends….


I’ve got my novel all written and many, many times revised.  I’m looking for a good book on revision and grammar rules for writers to make sure I’m bringing my A-game. My brain is struggling with commas; I’m realizing I don’t need as many as I thought. Any resources that have helped you?


14 thoughts on “Hey writer friends….

  1. Amos M. Carpenter

    Ouch, six errors in the one sentence (in the picture)… 😀

    Not to sound vain, but my main resource for grammar is my inner grammar Nazi, who grew up reading way too much and soaked it all up like a sponge. Probably not entirely foolproof, but I’ll trust my judgement over the red or green squiggles any word processor can come up with any day. As for resources, I find ELU (English Language & Usage at to be great and usually very accurate when it comes to the finer points of grammar.


    1. sjoycarlson Post author

      That’s my writing before my critique group gets it ;). No I generally consider myself to be a grammar nazi as well but lately I’m worried that my inner ummm critic we’ll say is off about things. Especially comma usage and I don’t know parts of speech that I don’t know the names for haha. That’s for the website. I’ll check it out!


  2. Cay

    Commas! They’re like small mysterious dots to me. I can’t seem to get the balance right. Sometimes I’m overindulging, and other times I just skip them altogether. I’m in desperate need of the same book and will buy a copy of whatever your readers recommend. And maybe one on semi-colons as well.


  3. Geoffrey

    I found “Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies” by Roy Peter Clark to be useful. It takes a more positive stance, instead of “don’t do that.”


  4. eclecticalli

    Ugh.. commas and I… we have this understanding you see. I put them where I think they belong, and they don’t complain. And then, when someone else quietly removes them (or, not so quietly tells me they must be removed), I try to pretend I understand the reason why. But I like commas, and I like to put them in where I want my reader to pause. And I like to put them in where I think they look nice.
    Yeah, my grammatical education did not stick, did not work, and my creative spelling and punctuation will probably be the death of me.
    I also like to mix is up by playing with colons and semi-colons 🙂
    Seriously, though, when I really do care about the punctuation and want to get it “proper” I tend to go back to Strunk and White “Elements of Style” or “Elements of Editing.”


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