Tag Archives: Exclamation points

exclamation-points

How Many Exclamation Points Can Dance on the Page of a Novel?

Exclamation Points.
You know, EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!
When you need to shout, scream, yell, and LOUDTALK!

How many should you have in your novel? 100? 200? 400? How about 649?

Jon shares an uneasy moment while editing the novel he’s working on, Loom, when he began to think, Hey how many exclamation points have I used here?

Juliet and Jon discuss how many exclamations are too many through the lens of several others novels. They discuss when to use them and when they can be edited out.

Novels mentioned in the show:

Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl

Andy Weir’s The Martian

Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

Examples in the Podcast from Jon Armstrong’s upcoming (and when he says upcoming, he means years from now):

Before:
“Ken!” I cried. “Shut up! Can you hear me? Ken? Please listen.”

After:
“Ken,” I cried. “Shut up. Can you hear me, Ken? Please listen.”

Another Example:

Before:
“Stop it! Shut up!” Shouting made pain explode through me.

Fixed:
“Stop it. Shut up.” Shouting made pain explode through me.

Rethought:
“Stop it. Shut up!” Shouting made pain explode through me.