Some people hear a comma, some see it, and others follow the rules. #writetip What’s right for you?
For me, it’s a combination of all three. When I write my first draft, I like to hear the punctuation. Somehow it makes writing flow easier. I don’t worry about whether it’s right or wrong at this stage. I think this lets my natural style come out.
When I review the first draft, I pay attention to how punctuation looks. Does the page look too cluttered? Is my eye distracted by the noise? If it is, I check to see if I’ve overused any punctuation marks.
During my final proofread, before sending the novel to anyone, I check whether my punctuation follows the grammatical and syntactical units of my style guide. If it doesn’t, then I decide if I want to break a rule or follow it. I want my voice to come out, not that of the rules. I also don’t want to make glaring errors.
Like most things in life, punctuating a novel is a balance.