When Derek asked me to write a guest post for his blog my spontaneous reply was, ‘About what? Commas?’
‘Why not about something salacious?’ was his reply. Ever since, the notion of salacious commas has been whirling around in my head.
To be honest, either commas or salaciousness isn’t something Derek uses especially often in his writing. I, however, do. I regularly get told off by my editors for over-use of commas. Not so much for over-use of salacious scenes, though. Which mostly can be explained by the fact that I, after three books, have learned to chose my editors wisely.
I like the word editor, by the way, and stubbornly refuse the term beta-reader, which in my world would describe a reader who is not yet quite ready to be released into the world of literature. I wouldn’t want such a person to edit my books.
Finding a good editor is of course not easy. I know that, because I’ve done quite some editing myself, and frankly, sometimes it’s harder than writing the novel itself. Then again, it’s great fun. It’s fun to move commas around and feel the sentences move with them. Its fun to poke sentences with hyphens, exclamation marks and semi-colons. To make them shiver under the gentle touch of my editing, make them follow me towards the perfect flow, well – you saw it coming – towards the fulfilling climax of a paragraph that makes the reader gasp, or sigh, or whatever the writer wanted to achieve.
So yes, of course commas can be salacious.
Jens Kuhn has published two historical novels, his third, ‘The Gripsholm Mystery’ is scheduled to he published later this autumn.