Monday, June 29, 2009

The Trouble with Dashes

I use far too many dashes in my writing.

I'm going through and working on draft #3 of my novel. One of the items which I have to focus on in this draft is cleaning up grammer and punctuation. And unfortunately, that means a lot of my dashes have to go.

It's really quite strange, but I find them quite a natural thing to use. To me they seem to convay a natural speech pattern. The problem is, they don't look nearly so natural on the page. And when one gets a good dozen of them every 250 words or so, one knows one is overdoing it.

So the dashes go out and commas and colons and semi-colons and periods come in. Not nearly as fun, but a good deal more professional.


The Real Katie said...

Hola! You've just been awarded over at Shakespeare & Showtunes :)

Elenatintil said...

Thank you Katie!

Andy Hauge said...

You know something funny? I used to do the exact same thing with ellipses, especially when trying to convey dream or stream-of-consciousness scenes.

Suzie Andres said...

Me too!
Just found your blog--after searching for info on Regina Doman--and I can really relate to the dashing problem!

Thanks for your info on novel word counts (another post I found helpful)and keep writing.

grateful to know I'm not alone, but working to excise those dashes,
Suzie Andres