About John Rogers

I have thought of myself as a writer for most of my adult life. In 2011, I became a fiction writer full time. I studied creative writing as an English major in college. Then came family and career. I worked in finance and biotech and did a wonderful stint in Vienna. Now, I have the opportunity to use those experiences as the substrate for my stories. My first novel takes on the world of Big Data and the very timely issue of cyber war. The second uses the manipulation of financial derivatives as impetus for attempted murder during a trip from Vienna to Budapest on the Danube. I have taken writing instruction at the Cape Cod Writers Conference and from The Loft in Minneapolis. I am finding writers’ groups to be very helpful as concept editors, as well as practical advice from the published authors. I am in three such groups. I have taken writing instruction at the Cape Cod Writers Conference and from The Loft in Minneapolis.

Commas

Well, folks, this has been a week of small changes.  Realization that the paragraph separation in my interior is 1 mm larger than line separation.  A few nits. I’ve been consoling myself with the fact that I can almost always find small errors in books published by the big houses.

Sometimes, the ‘wrong’ things I see are the movement of usage.  Younger writers seem often to be stingy with commas.  It usually works out, except when it doesn’t.  Recently, I got whacked for using the Oxford comma … you know … the one that goes before the ‘and’. “Unnecessary” was the terse comment in the margin.

I understand that commas are going the way of the bring/take difference and the dilution of ‘awesome’ to mean “better than OK.”  But really … consider the sentence: “We invited the strippers, JFK, and Stalin.” Three invitations. Could happen, right? JFK did have a sort of raffish way about him, and Joe might have treasured a get-together with a group of ecdysiastically-inclined ladies.

Now, try the sentence without the Oxford comma:  “We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin.” Two invitations that might have started WWIII.