On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

!!!Exclamation Points!!!

I recently read a book with exclamation points on nearly every page, and on one page I counted five...now, the same old same old warning, if your reader notices stuff like exclamation points, enough to count them, you've pretty much lost your reader.

Yes, I finished the book. No, I don't know if I'd buy another NEW book by this author. And yes, I'd read this author before.

Now, since I HAVE read this author before, I wonder a little about the exclamation points. Did the copy editor put them in and and the author got tired of taking them out? This DOES happen. A bad copy editor can be the pits. But I think I'll dig up the author's previous work and see if this was an issue.

Anyway, I LOVE exclamation points myself, as you have probably noted reading the blog. But one of my earliers critique buddies limited me to 1 ! per page, and it's very, very rare that I have more than one (or even look to see them) anymore. As will other punctuation that is to add extra punch, such as CAPS and italics, !s should be used with discretion so they DO add emphasis when you need it.

Thats all folks!
May your excitement in your writing come out in your word choice today.
Robin

6 Comments:

Blogger Michele said...

*groan*
What a challenge that is!
I am fond of exclamation marks and asterisks and all kinds of doodads to express stress on a certain point or pattern of speech.
Guess the words are what carrys the moment. I'm guess the strength of a scene is the picture you paint without the use of extras.
Whoa.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Michele said...

Typos not withstanding.
Sorry.

9:26 AM  
Blogger moonhart said...

But...but I have emphatic characters!!!!!!

LOL!

Really!

moon

7:14 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Yes, BUT **MOON**, Using Emphatic Characters, OFTEN, diminishes their IMPACT!

That said, when I introduced Trif Clover in Heart Duel, she spoke in italics...only once does she do that in Heart Quest, where she's the heroine. She's aged a little. ;)

10:21 AM  
Blogger Jeri said...

EP's are pet peeves of mine as a reader. I'd rather see close to zero in a narrative. In dialogue is okay, if kept to a minimum. To me an exclamation point feels like a sales pitch.

This is exciting!

I have an emotion!

This car gets 34mpg and has a cup holder in the armrest!


Which, ironically, makes me less likely to be convinced of the message.

10:54 AM  
Blogger moonhart said...

Ratso.

lol (no ep)

moon

6:27 PM  

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