Semi-colons and Apostrophes

You know, nothing is ever 100% right, even when you get to the point when you can’t do anything else at all, when there isn’t a second (or a heartbeat) left to change a single thing. Even then, you always find something isn’t quite how it should be. Right down to the semi-colon or the apostrophe.

Actually, punctuation really is a big deal when you want something to read in exactly the right way – to tell the story how you want it to be heard, what you hear in your head. This afternoon I have been editing, for the many-eth time, the Ebook manuscript of Almost Gone, as it’s just five weeks until it goes live on Smashwords. Oh, what a strange field of semi-colons I faced! In MS Word, you find things using Ctrl+F, which I repeated time after time, first with semi-colons. It’s like I have some kind of tic that makes me hit the key to the right of “L”, randomly spewing out ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; until my index finger is satisfied. What I ended up with, after hours of editing was a lot more full stops (thanks to Brian, an old school friend for repeating his mantra), quite a few more commas, a few more en-dashes (they have their place) and a manuscript that is just a bit closer to how it sounds in my head.

Then I decided to check for rogue apostrophes in the word “it’s” – you know, where you put one by mistake when referring to gender-neutral ownership of a thing. In this case I only found one, but also realised that word, “it’s”, was overused to the max. I got rid of about twenty, with suitable replacements, and again, it reads better.

That version has now been uploaded to Smashwords, and…yes, it’s uploaded fine, and their strange algorithms are all happy with it. You can read the first 20% for free by going to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/645194 if you like. Don’t forget, the launch date is MONDAY 5th SEPTEMBER, and you can get the book for half price if you use the code MX73K when ordering in advance.

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