Curb the exclamations!
Guilty as charged. I am one of those writers who loves to emphasize words with punctuation and I believe there are a lot of us. It’s a no-no.
As much as you would love to make that emphasis, avoid using a lot of exclamation marks or using them with a question mark to tell a reader how important something is.
Minimal use of exclaiming punctuations serves as an opportunity to explore your descriptive capabilities as a writer.
- The Exclamation point (!): Added to show yelling (in a dialogue ) or extreme emotion (in a narrative).
Don’t use more than one (!!), and avoid using it with a question mark (!?).
Most editors discourage its usage, the rule of thumb is not more than two or three exclamation points in an entire manuscript.
This is because overuse of the exclamation point creates room for weaker writing when the writer uses it consistently to show emotion. Instead, a writer should use a stronger dialog or narrative that will better convey that emotion.
- The Question mark (?): Is used to punctuate a question. Need not be more than one (??) and not used with an exclamation point (?!).
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