Boy do I LOVE run-on sentences.
I discovered this recently while working on the audio version book of The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind.
Now, many authors don’t get to read their own books (especially novels) but when the head of Penguin/Random House first called me, she wanted me to read the intro to my book. But then she read my book, and discovered that I’m not only in the intro and epilogue but on every damned page, she asked me to do my own audio.
“Are you sure you’re going to be able to do it?” people asked me (my husband included). What were they worried about?
Whatever it was — it wasn’t what they should have been worried about.
In reading my book aloud I realized — I should have been reading my book aloud all the time.
I’m not a bad writer — actually the book turned out to be great! But I will say I learned a few things about myself.
Mainly, that I love a run-on sentence. Actually, there’s not run-ons, because they’re grammatically correct! But they sure do have a lot of clauses, parenthesis, M-dashes and semicolons.
Ever since I started to write, this has been a major complaint. As far back as elementary school: too many commas, clauses, starting sentences with But, And and Also. I guess you gotta know the rules to break them.
And break them I did. Not as much as the chick who wrote a book of mostly one sentence. And yet — (another rule broken).
That’s my personality, I guess. Talking about three things at once, interrupting myself — injecting self-deprecating humor — when necessary. That’s just me. That also makes for some tough reading — or more likely, breathing while reading.
The good news is: I was allowed to edit. I was allowed to edit the book on the fly, breaking up sentences, skipping interjections that might have made sense on the page but not so much for a listener. A reader wouldn’t be able to make those changes but it’s my book. And I didn’t change the meaning of anything. I just changed the sentence structure.
I got to be me — but I also got to breathe.