F. Scott Fitzgerald said,
“An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke.”
In other words, use them sparingly.
Hyphens should be used to
connect related modifiers (“short-legged man”)
The em dash should be used
to indicate a break in a sentence,
for example, when dialogue is interrupted.
R.L. Stine said, "When a moment of true horror arises in a novel,
there's no better punctuation than a —."
Don't Forget to Sign Up For The
Boroughs Book Club
10 ebook novels or
novellas and get the 11th ebook free. (Lunchbox
Romances are not
Over the past few
weeks the phrases “poor organizational skills,” “life got in the way,” and,
“there aren’t enough hours in the day,” have been central to a number of
conversations with people from all walks of life. The dilemma of finding
the time to do what you want, what you love, your calling, and how it winds
up being wedged between everything else feels unsolvable. And, if you’re an
author, the overlay of guilt is ever-present. So what’s a
writer to do? Let’s talk about
the carve-out. When a friend’s four children were between the ages of 3 –
9, she began waking up at four in the morning to have at least an hour for
herself. Another friend waited until after everyone had gone to sleep for
her couple of hours of “me” time. Some people don’t have the luxury of
stealing those hours, others have the time but don’t know how to use it.
There are probably ten thousand websites full of advice on how to manage
your time. Some of what they have to say may be applicable to authors, but
for a breed that finds the most inventive ways to engage in avoidance
behavior, taking a time-honored approach is the best solution. Pick a word count
and then write that amount every day. Be realistic. If
500 words a day is all you can manage, that’s okay, but do it. No excuses.
If it means your lunch hour will be spent eating in the car in the parking
lot behind your office building while typing on your laptop, so be it. If
you commute on a train or bus, that’s your writing time. If you can manage
the carve-out, by all means, get up before the chickens, or surround
yourself with the silence of a sleeping house. Some people like ambient
noise and write best in coffee houses or restaurants. Find that friendly
local spot, tuck yourself into a corner and get busy. Really, it doesn’t matter
where or when you write, it’s the commitment to doing it that matters. The question is
and always should be: If you don’t write, will your soul wither?