Dash Vs. Semicolon - Page 2


Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 17 of 17

Thread: Dash Vs. Semicolon

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by JustRob View Post
    Oh yes. If a critical reader wants to quibble about punctuation rather than read and enjoy the story then I'm happy to give them a hard time to chase them off. Punctuation should be friendly enough for the average reader not to have a problem and that's all. Anyone wanting to feel superior should go away and write their own stories to prove their point, if they can. I've never understood the point in sticking all those balls and squiggly things on a cupcake when it's still just a cupcake underneath. It may look prettier to some but it still tastes the same to me.

    My angel has just called me to tea. I bet there's no cake though. I wish I hadn't thought about that simile now.
    I agree that the most important thing is that the reader can understand. That's hard enough to do. Coming in second is retaining drama and making characters come alive. Actually making something as easy to read as possible comes in a distance third. But it's still important.

    So if readers react differently to a semicolon than an em dash (perhaps a big if, I know), then your writing will be better if it fits their expectations.
    Looking for people to beta a chapter or more of my book Modern Punctuation and Grammar: Tools for Better Writing. Go Hidden Content
    As always, useful information you can't find anywhere else.

    Hidden Content

  2. #12
    For the record: publishers don't give a damn whether you use semi-colons, dashes, or colons. There seems to be this notion that publishers take a look at a piece of work, see something they don't like, and say, "Nah, binned, more bloody dashes!"

    It doesn't work that way.
    Hidden Content

    Hidden Content

    "One morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got into my pyjamas I'll never know." ~ Groucho Marx.

    "It is better to be feared than loved, if one cannot be both". ~ Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince.

    "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer". ~ Bruce Lee.

    "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few". ~ Shunryu Suzuki.

    "Give a man a mask and he will show you his true face". ~ Oscar Wilde.

    "He who learns but does not think is lost; he who thinks but does not learn is in great danger". ~ Confucius.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    For the record: publishers don't give a damn whether you use semi-colons, dashes, or colons. There seems to be this notion that publishers take a look at a piece of work, see something they don't like, and say, "Nah, binned, more bloody dashes!"

    It doesn't work that way.
    Like with everything else, you overuse them or have them doing what they're not designed for, there will be recommendations to change during edits. Publishers say use them by all means, just make sure you know why you're using them, but alsio be aware we have our own house guidelines.
    "You don't wanna ride the bus like this,"

    Mike Posner.



  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    For the record: publishers don't give a damn whether you use semi-colons, dashes, or colons. There seems to be this notion that publishers take a look at a piece of work, see something they don't like, and say, "Nah, binned, more bloody dashes!"

    It doesn't work that way.
    How does it work? My impression was that they read the synopsis and character sketches, or whatever, and decided if it is a good story. Then they assume any writing problems can be fixed in editing.

    That's my attempt to explain books that fail because they're poorly written. They all seem to have an interesting synopsis or gimmick or something.
    Looking for people to beta a chapter or more of my book Modern Punctuation and Grammar: Tools for Better Writing. Go Hidden Content
    As always, useful information you can't find anywhere else.

    Hidden Content

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    How does it work? My impression was that they read the synopsis and character sketches, or whatever, and decided if it is a good story. Then they assume any writing problems can be fixed in editing.

    That's my attempt to explain books that fail because they're poorly written. They all seem to have an interesting synopsis or gimmick or something.
    If it's directly to a publisher, most will read the synopsis and sample chapters, then request the full if interested. Once the full's in, it goes through a slush reader. Slush readers can have been with the company for years and they know what sells for their publisher, what their publisher loves etc. Most will work with their own internal paperwork, grading on character, plot, pace, whether it follows publisher guidelines on preferred content, if there's any potential legal issues over copyright, classifying genre etc. Along with these content edit issues, they'll grade on copy edit: what technical issues are noted. I haven't known any story with a good plot etc be rejected on SPaG issues. But they do get noted, purely so that when the Yay/Nay goes back to the submissions editor, they'll have an idea of which internal chief editor to use and which contract editors need to be contacted. With romance, etc, I have a personal preference for psych thrillers, crime, politics, steampunk; but I don't particularly like historical or shape shifters. So I won't be sent work that has the latter.
    "You don't wanna ride the bus like this,"

    Mike Posner.



  6. #16
    Maybe I asked the wrong question. Is it obvious that these two sentences should be combined?

    The skin there was a little flushed, but I don't think that was from the electric current. It was from the pressure of the belt.
    The reader is supposed to stop at the end of the sentence and try to understand it. Right? But the end of the first sentence is a lot easier to understand given the second sentence?

    But writing is a deep and wonderful thing. It opens deep wells of memory that were previously capped.
    Again, the second sentence explains the first. Wherever you were going with the first sentence by itself, it was wrong.
    Last edited by EmmaSohan; March 20th, 2017 at 06:10 PM. Reason: add spaces
    Looking for people to beta a chapter or more of my book Modern Punctuation and Grammar: Tools for Better Writing. Go Hidden Content
    As always, useful information you can't find anywhere else.

    Hidden Content

  7. #17
    As we appear to have had the last word on this subject I feel free to add a late postscript. It has been said here that dashes are often used in place of parentheses, but I should point out that using them in loco parenthesis requires the permission of the mother and father of all punctuation.

    I thank you. A hat will now be passed around so that you may show your appreciation.
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.