Asked • 03/25/19

Do I have any control over the grammar of my novel?

English grammar is generally pretty black and white, but there are a few areas under debate. For instance, should a series of three have one or two commas? For example: >The coach was black, dusty, and large. OR >The coach was black, dusty and large. What happens if I write a novel using the first example, but the publisher/editor 'corrects' it to the second example? Do I have any say in the matter? *Note: I realize this is a hotly debated topic for some people, so please refrain from debating which example is correct. That is not the question.*

Suzie S.

This is a punctuation question. Commas in a series was taught for years a, b and c vs a, b, and c. The second example is called the Oxford (or Harvard) comma and tends to be preferred by more "modern" folks. As for your work, be consistent. That is the key. If your editor changes your punctuation, you should ask why. If it is their company standard (whether a publishing house or a commercial company or other) they have, perhaps, a set of house rules/standards that your editor is required to adhere to. If there is a compelling reason that you want to go against their standard, explain it - otherwise - they are publishing you (good for you!) do you really care? NOTE: DOUBLE quotation marks except inside quotation marks (( or 'corrects' it to )) I said, "Blah blah blah." Then the boy said, "My mom said, 'Go home now!' but I didn't."


1 Expert Answer


Still looking for help? Get the right answer, fast.

Ask a question for free

Get a free answer to a quick problem.
Most questions answered within 4 hours.


Find an Online Tutor Now

Choose an expert and meet online. No packages or subscriptions, pay only for the time you need.