Sometimes, to avoid writing, I read about writing. I was recently reading, Nobles Book of Writing Blunders by William Nobles. He talks a lot about the sound of writing - that the reader "hears" the written word.
The rhythm of my writing is very important to me. I consider it critical to my writing voice. But sometimes, I have to fight a bit to keep the rhythm where I want it to be.
I just finished up (I hope) the final copyedits for my next book (Greetings from Nowhere - Spring 2008- thus, the name of this blog). Now - FSG has the best copyeditors on the planet. Bar none. The B-E-S-T. I drive them crazy with my "Southernisms." (They're from New York. I forgive them.)
They know their stuff. They miss nothing. They punctuate punctuate punctuate. But sometimes, I just don't WANT to punctuate. It ruins the rhythm of my writing.
For example, listen to the difference between:
1. Sometimes, when her father was sleeping on the couch, Willow would tiptoe down the hall to his bedroom that used to be Dorothy's bedroom, too.
2. Sometimes, when her father was sleeping on the couch, Willow would tiptoe down the hall to his bedroom, that used to be Dorothy's bedroom, too.
The difference, of course, lies in that one stinking little comma after the word "bedroom." The two are totally different to me. They sound different. They have a different "aura." (#1 is the one that is my rhythm and my voice. I need that sound - with no pause for the comma.)
Lucky for me, I also have copyeditors who listen to me and respect what I do and don't push their dang commas on me if I don't want them. Another one of the 1378 reasons why I love FSG.