Why sweat the commas? To save your reader from working to decode syntax-level meaning, enabling full focus on your protagonist, your plot, and your prose.
Past perfect is less common in the internet era, but isn’t just a formality. Without it, readers are ever so slightly more adrift in your ocean of words.
When stuck in the doldrums, writing coach Mathina Calliope recommends “writer candy”—literary distractions that nourish the muse.