Writers, Don’t be basic. Run-on sentences are a turn-off just like your parents throwing away your porn

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Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Writers, Don’t be basic. Run-on sentences are a turn-off just like your parents throwing away your porn
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We’ve all met them. The human at a party, in a line, or god-forbid sitting next to you in an airplane and they talk and talk and talk and don’t pause to breathe.

Do you enjoy those people?

Not usually.

Do you want them to shut the heck up for a half second?

Usually.

Well, writers, we hate to tell you all this, but we are guilty of doing this to our reader. Yes, you, writer, might be the annoying person on the plane talking about Aunt Sally’s hemorrhoids and all the fish you saw in Roatan during your five-day-long scuba adventure.

Don’t be those people. Periods are your friend. We can’t convince our thirteen year old this, but maybe we can convince you.

Periods are the enemy of your enemy: the run-on sentence.

What’s a run-on sentence?

It’s basically a sentence that connects two independent clauses without any punctuation or a nice sexy conjunction.

What’s an independent clause?

It’s basically this … an independent clause is so strong, so mighty, so full of awesome that it can be a sentence all by itself. It doesn’t need any help.

What’s a conjunction?

It’s basically the cruise director of your sentence connecting clauses or words or phrases and getting them all to chill out and hang together.

And then we have a comma splice.

The comma splice is a run on sentence with a comma stuck in there between those two independent clauses.

You want an example. Here you go.

Oh my god, I went to Starbucks, I got a pumpkin spice latte, they put the wrong name on my cup, they were calling out “Rachel,” I had no idea, right, I just stood there and stood there and stood there, I was the only one left, the guy at the counter looks at me and says, “Rachel?” I said I am “Raquel,” it was totally cold.

So how do you fix this?

  1. Make those clauses into separate sentences.

Oh my god, I went to Starbucks. I got a pumpkin spice latte. They put the wrong name on my cup. They were calling out “Rachel.” I had no idea, right? I just stood there and stood there and stood there. I was the only one left. The guy at the counter looks at me and says, “Rachel?” I said I am “Raquel.” It was totally cold.

  • Use the magical semicolon sometimes instead of a comma.

Oh my god, I went to Starbucks; I got a pumpkin spice latte. They put the wrong name on my cup. They were calling out “Rachel;” I had no idea, right? I just stood there and stood there and stood there. I was the only one left. The guy at the counter looks at me and says, “Rachel?” I said I am “Raquel.” It was totally cold.

  • Use a sexy conjunction. We call these beautiful mistresses coordinating conjunctions or FANBOYS (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).

Oh my god, I went to Starbucks and I got a pumpkin spice latte. They put the wrong name on my cup so they were calling out “Rachel.”

  • Use another kind of sexy conjunction called the subordinating conjunction. These show a little-cause-and-effect or relationships.

Oh my god, I went to Starbucks where I got a pumpkin spice latte. They put the wrong name on my cup because they were calling out “Rachel.”

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Don’t run-on, don’t splice.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Don’t run-in bark. The humans yell at you.

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

And we have a new podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

Here’s the link.

LINKS MENTIONED IN RANDOM THOUGHTS SECTION

About the cow at McDonald’s

https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Spotted-Cow-at-a-McDonald-s-drive-through-in-16417355.php

About dogs in the U.S.

https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2021/08/10/1025596981/how-the-pet-revolution-unleashed-a-new-top-dog-in-america

About parents throwing away your porn

https://www.10tv.com/article/news/nation-world/parents-must-pay-son-for-throwing-away-his-porn-collection/530-36a06067-d27a-48a7-95ec-4646253e072d

https://people.com/human-interest/parents-ordered-to-pay-son-30k-after-getting-rid-of-his-pornography-collection/

Author: carriejonesbooks

I am the NYT and internationally-bestselling author of children's books, which include the NEED series, FLYING series, TIME STOPPERS series, DEAR BULLY and other books. I like hedgehogs and puppies and warm places. I have none of these things in my life.

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