Tuesday, 21 February 2017


One hundred and eighty two.

That's how many exclamation marks I had written into a 51K novel. I know; I counted every single one.

Kingstone has been...well, not completely cured, but it certainly looks a lot healthier, thanks to Casey's brilliant editing at Bedazzled Ink. When I mailed her and said I seemed to be suffering from exclamationmarkitis, she said;

Many years ago when I worked for another publisher, the very first book I received to look at had already gone through editing and was in typeset. It was a little book and had hundreds of exclamation points. Nearly every spoken sentence ended in an exclamation point. The author was trying to emphasize bright and breezy dialogue between people on vacation... It read like everyone was constantly shouting at each other. Needless-to-say, it had to be completely re-edited.

It's tricky using exclamation points for anything other than actual shouting because once you start using it for emphasis, it's hard to keep it under control and the exclamation point loses its impact.

Believe me, after going through the edit and having to click the mouse five or six times for every exclamation mark I agreed to taking out (I did ask to leave a couple in), I think I was cured.

I also seem to have a secondary infection: semicolonitis. And a minor case of hyphenated no-ones.

Which only goes to show that an editor is worth their weight in gold for the polish they can bring to your manuscript...

But one hundred and eighty two. Sheesh.

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