Marker Run-on sentences – I see a lot of this. Way too much, in fact. I wonder, sometimes, if this is because we tend to jot things down in a hurried manner and forget to correct them later on down the line. This is, most often, the logical explanation, but sometimes, we tend to overlook it and continue with writing run-on sentences without actually correcting them.

I.E. Mary thought that she was going to the market but realized that the time was quite late she decided to stay home instead but couldn’t decide what it was that she wanted to do in the end, she sat down to watch some television.

That’s three sentences, right there. Headache worthy, isn’t it? All that it’s missing is the correct punctuation.

Let’s add it in and see the difference.

Mary thought that she was going to the market, but realized that the time was quite late. She decided to stay home instead, but couldn’t decide what it was that she wanted to do. In the end, she sat down to watch some television.

Much better right? Not every author uses run-on sentences, mind you. Most of us catch these things early and correct them as we go along, but more often than not, they can sometimes go unnoticed. From a reader’s point-of-view, this sort of thing tends to put them off of the book they’re reading if per chance they catch it. We really want to avoid this sort of thing from happening.

In addition to this, there’s also the fact that punctuation and sentence structure is thrown out the window. Period’s and comma’s are either missing or placed in the wrong spots, which makes it hard to decipher where the sentence actually ends. In polishing a manuscript, we should take the time to read each sentence carefully and add the needed punctuation accordingly.

I understand that in the process of writing our stories, we sometimes jot down these ideas in the form of run-on sentences. (Not everyone does this, of course.) It allows us to make note of what has come to mind so that we can go back later and correct it. This is fine, as long as it is truly fixed by the time the manuscript is finished.

In all honesty, we want to try avoid the use of run-on sentences carrying over once the book is completed. It makes the work seem unpolished and unrefined. It’s as if it was hastily slapped together and someone didn’t bother to truly give it a once-over to make sure that all the i’s are dotted and all the t’s are crossed.

As writer’s, we want to make our manuscripts the best they can be and polish them to the best of their potential. We want them to shine. To show our readers that we truly know our craft and that we truly took our time with it.

Take the time to give your stories an in-depth look. If there are any run-on sentences, tweak them until they’re no longer running on. Read your work out loud, always making sure that punctuation and grammar is correct. Add comma’s and period’s exactly where they are needed. If it’s dialogue that is in question, be sure to include those quotation marks to show that it is, indeed, dialogue.

Don’t settle for being second best with your manuscript. Instead, strive always in making it stand out. Let it be seen exactly as how you think your readers want it to be seen: clear, concise, and to the point. In the end, your readers will thank you.