You guys sure know your grammar errors!
Commas are the number one grammar-related error literary agents encounter.
Does that mean that you should all log onto Amazon, buy the best grammar book in the world (i.e., Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares), and study Chapter 5.
Yes and no.
You should all totally buy the book, but don’t bother reading Chapter 5.
It turns out that literary agents don’t care that much about commas. Here are quotes from three different agents:
“The improper use of the comma is probably the most common error I see. But commas are also one of the most complicated pieces of grammar, so this is often very forgivable.”
“Commas seem to confound many young writers. I’m fairly flexible in the use of commas. Because comma rules can be confusing and arbitrary, I am less critical of comma errors than other types of errors.”
“If you don’t know how to use commas, you’re better off underusing them than overusing them.”
Well, guess what, literary agents, I don’t care about plot or character development or tone or style! So there!