The Fifth Rule for Writing a Modern Novel

March 3, 2013 at 7:07 am

Keep Your Exclamation Points Under Control

I love using exclamation points. A lot. You can probably tell just from what I’ve written so far on this website! But there is definitely a point, especially in a book, where they can become too much.

I also don’t like it when, in professional writing, I see a string of them – !!!!!!!!!! after dialogue. You really only need one to communicate that the person is surprised or shouting or whatever. I don’t think adding exclamation points increases the level of the character’s anger.

But when using single exclamation points how much is too much? There are some in The Heir, but I can remember taking a lot out too. I think too many can look amateurish and can distract from the story.

So I agree with this, even if I have trouble keeping to it.