Author Topic: Exclamation Points!!!  (Read 1216 times)

Offline rivergirl

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Exclamation Points!!!
« on: May 01, 2020, 03:24:51 PM »
Another writer told me it is taboo to use exclamation points outside of dialogue. I was really surprised to hear this. What is everyone’s thoughts on this? I definitely think they need to be used sparingly so not to look childish but didn’t know this was a rule.

Offline jcwrites

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Re: Exclamation Points!!!
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2020, 04:32:45 PM »
It's one of those rules-to-be-broken-if-you-know-how-to rules, and I think the "how to" depends largely on POV and voice. Myself, I would not use "!" in 3rd-person omniscient (to me a largely neutral voice); or in 3rd objective (what some call "3rd distant"). How-some-ever, in 3rd subjective where a character's voice has been been established as, say, "excitable", it could work in, say, interior monologue. Likewise, in 1st, where pretty much anything goes.

Where it never works is when used to impart emphasis to a sentence that's DOA to begin with.

Great question!... Glad you asked!