Don’t overuse symbols in your novel

Remember when you started writing and you used exclamation points all over the place? Then one day a wiser writer explained that exclamation points should be used minimally, very minimally. Same thing with a few other symbols, like ellipses, semicolon, colon and emdash. (Note, The Chicago Manual of Sytle is the prevalent reference, but not everyone has an account with them online, you can purchase their latest release from

Even though you may be right, make sure you don’t overuse these symbols—they stick out to the reader and distract them from the story.

I was reading a novel on my Kindle the other day and there were three ellipses in one scene, and two emdashes. It was enough to distract me to write this blog post!!


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