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Failed attempt at cultural appropriation

Bondi Beach
Updated:

Well, I asked a bona fide woman (I'm married to her) to read Cocksucker and tell me what she thought. She said the story was pretty good, but the narrator certainly didn't think the way she does. She [the narrator] sounded like a guy.

Well, there's always next time.

bb

Crumbly Writer

@Bondi Beach

She said the story was pretty good, but the narrator certainly didn't think the way she does. She [the narrator] sounded like a guy.

That's a fairly typical problem, especially where porn/erotica is concerned. It's also a decent reading for having a mix of male/female beta-readers/editors.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Not_a_ID

And a cause for a major case of writing dis-incentive for me on one of the larger sci-fi story ideas I have kicking around. Given that I'm a single male, never married, no kids. While the MC for said story is female, a widow, and has had her only child die violently in the same act that claimed her husband, just after she came in sight of them.

First I have to bother to start writing things again, but even then, I think it'd be a while before I think I'm ready to even start trying to tackle that one specifically, as it will take some major effort to do her justice. Given that she has some other, uh, issues centered around that as well.

Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

First I have to bother to start writing things again, but even then, I think it'd be a while before I think I'm ready to even start trying to tackle that one specifically, as it will take some major effort to do her justice. Given that she has some other, uh, issues centered around that as well.

The best cure for that, is to put the story aside and let your brain percolate in peace while you focus on other things. I'd suggest writing something else until you have a better grasp on the subject matter. I typically put most of my stories aside for months until I've worked out the major story issues.

However, a common cause of writers' block is trying to force the characters to do something they wouldn't normally do, so it may be your story proposal, as you've outlined it, just isn't working. Again, the best solution to that is to identify the specific plot point that's the problem and again put the story aside as your brain resolves the issue. (Long, quiet walks help.)

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Bondi Beach

@Not_a_ID

Given that I'm a single male, never married, no kids. While the MC for said story is female, a widow, and has had her only child die violently in the same act that claimed her husband, just after she came in sight of them.


I'm actually not a believer in the whole cultural appropriation thing, so I'm going to write about anyone or anything I want to write about. That said, like others I want to produce the best thing I can.

I don't think one has to be married to write about marriage or have kids to write about being a parent although it helps, a lot, if you are and you do. I'd look around at women I know and observe and listen and go from there. Ditto with a friend or someone I know who's a parent.

I keep thinking about Tom Clancy and "Red October." He'd never been anywhere near a submarine. I don't remember if he'd ever served in the Navy or anywhere else, but I don't think so. Yet he got it right enough through research to write a realistic thriller. (Same for Martin Cruz Smith and Gorky Park.)

bb

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


That's a fairly typical problem, especially where porn/erotica is concerned. It's also a decent reading for having a mix of male/female beta-readers/editors.


In fairness to my spouse, I think she found the context, i.e., an apparent ménage, strange enough to begin with and that influenced her take on the story. Not objectionable per se, just strange.

EDIT TO ADD: And she's just finished all eight published volumes of Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series, where everyone is getting laid almost at a "Game of Thrones" rate, so it's not the sex, even close-up and detailed sex, that put her off.

I don't know anyone personally in such a relationship, although the story was inspired by a series of anecdotes from an online blogger. Yes, the blogger could really be (a) an FBI agent, (b) a dog, (c) Donald Trump, or (d) my sister-in-law, but her anecdotes and comments are consistent enough and the texture of her stories detailed enough to suggest some reasonably close relation to reality. Something she posted was my prompt for the story.

bb

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Bondi Beach

I'm actually not a believer in the whole cultural appropriation thing, so I'm going to write about anyone or anything I want to write about. That said, like others I want to produce the best thing I can.


Oh, I'm not too concerned about the cultural appropriation thing either. If anything, I'm a big fan of "Out of many, one" expression and the implied cultural melting pot concept of the United States, which ironically enough, one its face is staunchly against Multi-culturalism when you consider it fully. So in that respect I'm all FOR cultural appropriation in that context. I'll take(appropriate) whichever aspects of another culture or "lifestyle" I find to be desirable, and make it my own, and to hell with everyone else.

After all, that is the quintessential part of the "melting pot" when speaking in terms of metallurgy in that time frame. The metals that didn't "burn off" in that state should make what survives stronger. (Of course, in the modern age of alloys, we know that isn't completely the case, and sometimes the reverse can be true, but the concept itself still stands fairly well: Test everything about your own culture, test everything about different cultures, evaluate honestly. Take the best that is offered between the options, discard anything that doesn't "measure up.")

Now as to the other context of "cultural appropriation," where we're talking caricatures of various cultures and ethnicities, and portraying them in overly negative ways. That is something I'm agreeable to correcting the relevant misconceptions, but not to outright banning well-intentioned albeit misguided efforts to show some form of respect towards those groups.

Not_a_ID

@Bondi Beach

EDIT TO ADD: And she's just finished all eight published volumes of Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series, where everyone is getting laid almost at a "Game of Thrones" rate, so it's not the sex, even close-up and detailed sex, that put her off.


I don't have the link on this computer, but there was a blog post a few months back written by a Lesbian giving advice to her straight counterparts in regards to sex and dating. It was an interesting read from a straight male perspective.

At least within the experience of that blogger and her Lesbian friends, the rules of dating for them are very different than their straight counterparts. If they're on the prowl for someone new, and not in a relationship and "Want to jump someones bones" the Lesbians will go and do just that. If a relationship ensues, great. If not, well, they got it out of their system and move on. No stigma's for "being one of those girls who put out on the first date."

Their straight counterparts? Not so much. In the case of the blog post, what brought it on was her supposedly just talking to a straight friend who'd been dating a guy for (from memory) something like 6 months, and the entire reason she started going out with him was she wanted to "jump his bones" on sight, but 6 months in, the friend was still agonizing over the decision on whether or not to sleep with him.

The blogger's comment was that her friend was putting her self through an emotional wringer for no real apparent reason. Either the guy "is the one," is the "is the one for now," or he's "the one for right now." If he's the one for right now, having sex on the first date would have probably made it clear then and there, and saved her from a lot of emotional turmoil from there.

Likewise, sex with him on the first date wouldn't preclude him from still being the guy "for now.. or longer." It just removes (the prospect of) sex from being a primary part of the equation in terms of where the relationship develops from there. If it turns out the guy gets hung up on the sex, or you(as the female) do, well, you probably have the answer as to how that relationship is going to play out. Best to get that out in the open and handled at the onset, rather than after having spent months or even years getting yourself "invested" into a relationship that isn't likely to go very far all things considered.

...but that's a huge digression. The point on that was even going from the perspective of a straight woman as to "how things work" in some cases can turn out to be very different to how a lesbian or bisexual may view the same situation. They're likely to be playing by different rules, and the perspectives and roles will be different as a result.

Replies:   REP
Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

The best cure for that, is to put the story aside and let your brain percolate in peace while you focus on other things. I'd suggest writing something else until you have a better grasp on the subject matter. I typically put most of my stories aside for months until I've worked out the major story issues.


Oh in this case, it's largely self-doubt. I have few doubts that if I sat down and started to write it, the thing would flow quite freely. The concern, and self-doubt, comes into play in regards to being able to write a convincing female Main Character within that context.

This particular story has been rattling around for well over a decade, and it's acquired a rather significant amount of "head canon" over those years. There still are a few other issues I've been kicking around that have more to do with the world setting than the character herself, but she's rather intimidating in her own right.

REP

@Not_a_ID

It just removes (the prospect of) sex from being a primary part of the equation in terms of where the relationship develops from there.


Personally, I agree that engaging in sex removes the issue of when to have sex,. I disagree with the concept(Blogger's or yours) of having sex making the determination of where the relationship will go clearer. Engaging in sex adds elements to the equation and distorts both parties view of the relationship.

Plug for story - I wrote a short story about relationship failures and what I see as the primary reason for the failures. I got the edited version back from Jim7 this morning, and should be posting it in the next day or two. Probably later today, if the edits are not extensive.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Not_a_ID
Ernest Bywater

@REP

I got the edited version back from Jim7


Just check you don't have too many commas after he's finished with it.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Just check you don't have too many commas after he's finished with it.


If I recall correctly, he deletes more commas than he adds. :)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

If I recall correctly, he deletes more commas than he adds. :)


Damn, I'd hate to see your initial work. For every comma I have in what I send him he adds about three I find aren't needed. Apart from the commas I accept about 95% of what he suggests and about 5% of the commas he suggest. Mind you, the commas make up about 70% of the suggested changes he makes.

Replies:   REP
awnlee jawking

@Bondi Beach

Being pernickety, I'd suggest that gender appropriation would have been a better description than cultural appropriation. Except that I've now coined a new class of offences for the professionally offended to whine about :(

AJ

Replies:   REP  Bondi Beach
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Ah, I'm fairly good at punctuation except for commas.

I know most of the rules about the use of commas, but I don't recognize many of the places where punctuation rules say they should go.

When I worked as a technical writer, I mostly wrote Mil-Spec manuals for the US Military. I had an excellent Style Guide, which I seem to have misplaced. I'll find it eventually. It was the Style Manual (Guide?) for the US Government Printing Office.

REP
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


. Except that I've now coined a new class of offences for the professionally offended to whine about :(


Perhaps we should allow BB to get away with using cultural appropriation.

Otherwise we will end up with stories with the characters being all male (or female) and of the same race as the writer. :)

Bondi Beach

@awnlee jawking

I'd suggest that gender appropriation would have been a better description than cultural appropriation


OK, now you've done it. Gender is the bod; culture is the way the bod (and mind) interact with the world. So obviously I can't be accused of gender appropriation, since my pen name is male, but I am guilty of a failed attempt at seeing the world through the eyes and mind attached to a female bod.

How's that?

bb

NB: For the record, the entire response above, while perfectly and absolutely and logically true, is a joke.

Bondi Beach

@Bondi Beach

Gender is the bod


Except when it isn't, of course. Ask the nearest T or Q person you see.

bb

awnlee jawking

@Bondi Beach

For the record, the entire response above, while perfectly and absolutely and logically true, is a joke.


Thank you. Sometimes humour doesn't travel well so clarification or a smiley are a great help.

AJ

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@REP


Personally, I agree that engaging in sex removes the issue of when to have sex,. I disagree with the concept(Blogger's or yours) of having sex making the determination of where the relationship will go clearer. Engaging in sex adds elements to the equation and distorts both parties view of the relationship.


Looking at the blog again, I summarized poorly. Here's the link:

http://elitedaily.com/dating/using-sex-to-manipulate-men/1496297/

When I started dating women in my early 20s, I experienced a shift in logic. In my experience, there's no stigma about having sex early in a relationship between two women. I've had sex early on and I've waited several months, but regardless of the timeline, sex isn't needed to rope the ladies into wanting something more.


But after 30 years on the Earth, I've realized that if anyone, boy or girl, authentically likes you, they won't neglect you after you have sex with them.

Ladies, you are not just a vagina. You have far more to offer than sex. The right guy won't feel like he's "done with you" after he has sex with you. He will feel like he's just starting to get to know you.

Replies:   REP
Capt Zapp

@REP

I'll find it eventually. It was the Style Manual (Guide?) for the US Government Printing Office.


Most likely it was 'Manual' since the only 'guide' the military uses is the 'guide-on' for formations. :)

Replies:   Bondi Beach
REP

@Not_a_ID

there's no stigma about having sex early in a relationship between two women. I've had sex early on and I've waited several months, but regardless of the timeline, sex isn't needed to rope the ladies into wanting something more.


I never insinuated that there was a stigma attached to having sex early in a relationship, be the relationship F/M, M/M, or F/F. And I never said that sex ropes the ladies into wanting more. What I did say was introducing sex into a relationship affects one's perception of the relationship.

I've realized that if anyone, boy or girl, authentically likes you, they won't neglect you after you have sex with them.


Not true.

Men have sex with women they 'like' but do not 'love' all the time. Those relationships often end after the first sexual encounter; where do you think the term 'One Night Stand' came from. In other cases, the man, woman, or both use the other for sex until one of them tires of the other or one of them decides to end a relationship that is going nowhere.

Furthermore, my post did not address 'the right guy' (or gal). Most people are not right for each other, but that doesn't stop some of them from having sex with each other.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@REP

Men have sex with women they 'like' but do not 'love' all the time. Those relationships often end after the first sexual encounter; where do you think the term 'One Night Stand' came from. In other cases, the man, woman, or both use the other for sex until one of them tires of the other or one of them decides to end a relationship that is going nowhere.


From the gist of her blog, I think she's fine with the idea of one night stands.

As to sex being a variable in relationships, yes it is. It's a trope for some writers with regards to "terrible personality, but amazing in the sack."

However, it does remove the promise or prospect of sex from the table. Which allows the other things to develop more on their own.

Replies:   REP
Bondi Beach

@Capt Zapp

Most likely it was 'Manual' since the only 'guide' the military uses is the 'guide-on' for formations. :)


U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual.

bb

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

@REP

When I worked as a technical writer, I mostly wrote Mil-Spec manuals for the US Military. I had an excellent Style Guide, which I seem to have misplaced. I'll find it eventually. It was the Style Manual (Guide?) for the US Government Printing Office.


Now this is a good example of where Jim and I disagree about commas. I see a lot of this in stories by US authors, and I suspect in may be to do with how they teach the sue of commas over there, but don't know. In this you have two of what I call fragmentation commas because you're using them to separate clauses in a way that also fragments the sentence and the commas aren't needed. I'd have written it as:

When I worked as a technical writer I mostly wrote Mil-Spec manuals for the US Military. I had an excellent Style Guide which I seem to have misplaced. I'll find it eventually. It was the Style Manual (Guide?) for the US Government Printing Office.

Over the years I used a number of different style guides for work related writing, including the Australian Government Printing Office Style Guide, the Australian Parliamentary Style Guide, a Technical Writer's Style Guide, and a university style guide for essays. They often had significant differences in basic things, so i learned not to take them as gospel for anything except their intended specific audience.

I recently found this educational YouTube video on commas, and found it good advice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHnl1O3NGJk

Replies:   REP  Ross at Play
REP

@Not_a_ID

Which allows the other things to develop more on their own.


I still disagree. Having sex that usually create things in the equation that mask 'the other things'. The things added due to sex, not the sex itself, become the main focus, and 'the other things' never develop the way they would if sex had been kept out of the equation.

REP

@Bondi Beach

Thanks for the link BB. That is a more recent version than what I used.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

One of the punctuation rules I was taught was a phrase that would normally appear at the end of a sentence, can be placed at the start of the sentence, and it is called an introductory phrase, dependent or independent. All introductory phrases should be followed by a comma.

I was also taught that a phrase that can be omitted without changing the meaning of the sentence should start with which and be setoff with commas.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

All introductory phrases should be followed by a comma.


That's true when it is and introductory phrase. However, there's a problem where a lot of clauses can be placed at either end and are not an introductory phrase. The most common mis-use is the timing clause and the location clause. Such do not need a comma, but many people misidentify them as an introductory phrase. The easiest way to identify such is to see if they read an make sense without the comma, if they do, then you don't need the comma. If an introductory phrase is truly an introductory phrase needing a comma, then totally deleting the phrase and the comma won't make any difference to the meaning conveyed in the sentence in any way. In your posted response the section after the comma in the second sentence makes no sense by itself because it's reduced to being a fragment.

Sentences are made up of related or linked clauses, and they don't always need a comma or punctuation between them, but some do. The fun part is identifying which do and which don't.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

I'd have written it as:

When I worked as a technical writer I mostly wrote Mil-Spec manuals for the US Military. I had an excellent Style Guide which I seem to have misplaced. I'll find it eventually. It was the Style Manual (Guide?) for the US Government Printing Office.

***
To REP
***
Sorry, but Ernest's edits to remove two commas are absolutely correct, at least for a writer of fiction.
You could have commas in those two places, but they would be really stressing the following clause is very important.
It took me a lot of effort to find that many of the commas I was using early on where incorrect.
***
Firstly, my ideas were being corrupted by the only references I could find (those damn Style Guides), which insist commas are needed in various positions that really only apply to technical writers. In fiction they interrupt the readers natural flow from one idea to the next. When revising sentences to eliminate excess words I often conclude a sentence with one extra word, but one extra comma in the alternative, is better left alone.
***
Secondly, for some time I had the mistaken impression that the purpose of punctuation was to guide the reader where to make minor pauses while reading. That is not so. They do that for themselves from the context.
***
Ernest's explanation did not use correct terminology, but he was spot on with his concept of learn how to recognise what constitutes a "sentence fragment", and then learn the valid ways of joining fragments.
***
Commas can become complicated because they have several types of uses. They are used to separate both elements of lists and fragments of sentences. They are also used to separate a series of adjectives. Elements of lists may be anything from simple words to complex clauses. The thing (or one thing?) that makes them a list is that all have equal status in the way they relate the the introduction of the list. The important thing here is to decide whether you prefer to use serial (Oxford) commas or not, and then be consistent in using your choice.
***
What constitutes a sentence fragments can be a bit tricky. There are a few that must ALWAYS be validly separated from the main body of a sentence.
1. Dialogue and all attached attributions. For example: "Stop that!" she yelled furiously and then hit him.
The dialog fragment there ends with "furiously", because the attribution includes the subject and "speaking" verb and any adverbs or adjectives modifying them.
2. Interjections always constitute a separate fragment. That is any extra words just thrown in there with no connection to the main sentence, i.e. the rest of the sentence is unchanged if you remove them completely.
3. All kinds of asides, comments and explanations. If your sentence makes sense if you enclose it in parentheses, then you may use something else (often commas) to separate from the main body of the sentence – but you must use something.
4. There are also independent clauses. That is anything that makes sense if you place a full stop after it.

These are the types of fragments that must be separated, and the first rule is then the need or comma (or something more) unless they have a coordinating conjunction. The mnemonic to remember the most commonly used coordinating conjunctions is BOYFANS - and plus but, or, yet, for, as, nor, so - but anything else that means the same as well. Note there are eight common coordinating conjunctions and they all have only two or three letters.
***
I will not go on to describe introductory clauses and non-restrictive clauses which also require commas in technical writing. In fiction that is not mandatory. I rarely use them for introductory clauses, but usually try to for non-restrictive clauses when I can spot them.
Also, I cannot guarantee everything I've described here is totally accurate – but it is definitely quite close.

***

I apolgise for directing this lengthy lecture at you, much of which I am sure you do already know.
My MAIN REASON for this post is to describe the tool which helped me (finally) understand most of these concepts and get them right most of the time.
***
I downloaded and installed the free software from grammarly.com. It really took no more than clicking on the obvious button half a dozen times. Without doing any more it began checking the grammar of my emails as I was typing. [I think there is an extension for Word, etc., but I have not bothered with that].
***
In only a short time I can see the clarity and correctness of my writing has improved substantially.
I VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE FREE PRODUCT TO OTHERS
***
There are two cautions I suggest to authors of fiction:
1. I almost routinely dismiss its flags for 'comma required after an introductory phrase'. Provided the idea in that clause flows naturally into the main body of the sentence, I let my readers read without insisting they make a pause.
2. I usually, not not always, accept its flags for 'comma unnecessary in a complex sentence', but sometimes leave them so that readers will pause because the next idea is important.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

English isn't like a computer language where incorrect syntax results in compilation errors or spurious program results. And grammaticists themselves are perpetually in disagreement about what's right and what's wrong. You're never going to find a single definitive reference manual, and it's naive for an author to choose one and treat it as authoritative. (However the situation is different for publishers wishing to impose a house style.)

The last book on punctuation I read agreed pretty well with your rules where commas are required, but went on to say that eg for introductory phrases in short, simple sentences, it's perfectly okay to omit them.

I had the mistaken impression that the purpose of punctuation was to guide the reader where to make minor pauses while reading. That is not so. They do that for themselves from the context.


To make minor pauses based on context requires foreknowledge. The author already has that knowledge. I put in appropriate commas to aid readers as a matter of routine and it's not wrong to do so.

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

You're never going to find a single definitive reference manual, and it's naive for an author to choose one and treat it as authoritative.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ...
PLEASE stop assuming that any mention of any guide or resource by someone implies they will slavishly do whatever it specifies.
Is it really necessary that every post containing any mention of any guide or resource must contain detailed caveats that there are no guides that are truly suitable?
Isn't that obvious enough if I say I have used this tool and highly recommend it to others - BUT I almost routinely ignore one type of suggestion it makes, and selectively reject another type.
I was very specific in stating my "rules" mat not be totally accurate, but were close.
I was attempting to describe a principle that commas should be decided on the basis of fragments. For some type of fragments (speech and imperatives) I don't think I have ever seen anything suggesting there is not a right way of doing - but for others they become optional, and some more optional than others (e.g. nonrestrictive usually, restrictive usually not)
I'm not a moron. I don't think anyone here is a moron.
PLEASE give others the benefit of the doubt that they know not to slavishly follow anything.
Almost every time I look up any guide to see what it says, my NEXT question is whether there are good enough reasons to reject what it states for the sentence I am considering.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I put in appropriate commas to aid readers as a matter of routine and it's not wrong to do so.

Can we agree there could be large differences in the number of commas two authors put in the same text without either ever being wrong?

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I was concerned that you were citing Grammarly as the premier reference.

Can we agree there could be large differences in the number of commas two authors put in the same text without either ever being wrong?


I'd be concerned if there were large differences in comma usage in the same sentence by different authors. I suppose that using different conventions could lead to a large number of differences over a more substantial piece, witness Ernest's remark about Jim's comma usage.

I wish I could remember the name of the book (slap head 1) because I've just remembered something else of current interest. Most dialogue is pretty straightforward to punctuate. However, when you cite a quotation, it comes with its own punctuation. That can lead to a situation where you have eg .". (or single quotes if you swing that way). The book asserted that it's not wrong, in an absolute sense, to leave all that punctuation in place, but it recommended reducing the punctuation and provided a set of rules for doing so. No (slap head 2), I can't remember those rules :(

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Bondi Beach

@Ross at Play

Can we agree there could be large differences in the number of commas two authors put in the same text without either ever being wrong?


Especially when the author himself cannot decide:

"Well, it was very important," said Oscar [Wilde]. "I took out a comma." "Indeed," returned the enemy of literature, "is that all you did?" Oscar, with a sweet smile, said, "By no means; on mature reflection I put back the comma." This was too much for the Philistine, who took the next train to London.

Of course, Mr. Wilde may have been pulling the philistine's leg. He did a lot of that, we are told.

bb

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Dear Awnlee,
I expect there really is very little difference between out opinions: that when looking at the same sentence we would rarely differ about where we would always, never, or sometimes place a comma (or some other mark). Your sometimes may be more often than mine currently is, but neither is wrong.
* * *
I expect a short time ago, we probably would have disagreed on a number of the always and never positions. Given the difference in our levels of experience, I presume the consensus among others would (almost) always have been you were right, and I was wrong.
* * *
The purpose of my post was to describe how a newcomer has managed to achieve a level of competence closer to yours. Yes, I am using a software tool, but I always decide whether the suggestions it makes are what I want for this sentence. I know the grammarly.com tool is designed for technical writers, and will often be utterly inappropriate for my informal writing.
* * *
I wrote my post mainly because Ernest mentioned "fragments" in a post to REP about how to avoid systemic overuse or under-use of commas, i.e. not agreeing with us about what is a never, and what is an always.
THAT IS PRECISELY the thing that using grammerly.com has been helped me understand. I think I finally have an understanding of how to identify various types of fragments (e.g. dialogue [plus attribution], dependent and restrictive clauses) and where those start and end.
It has helped me identify points where something is needed to join fragments. The possible options are usually limited and I make my artistic choices in each individual case.
* * *
My purpose was not to instruct experienced writers about what is right or wrong: it was to describe the experience of one relative newcomer - for other relative newcomers - the process I used that helped improve my writing.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I presume the consensus among others would (almost) always have been you were right, and I was wrong.


Actually, probably not. There seems to be a modern trend (those meddling Wattpadders again?) to exclude 'optional' commas which are there to help readers with phrasing or breathing.

Please continue to share your learning experiences. Others, including myself, are or have been in the same position.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Please continue to share your learning experiences. Others, including myself, are or have been in the same position.

Thank you for that encouragement.
To summarise my experience, I found it very helpful to have tool stating: In this sentence, a technical writer would be required to do such and such - and THEN making my decision as a human writing informally.

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