Let’s Ban Ellipsis Points . . . And Snakes!

“Ditch all the ellipsis points,” Miss Crankypants advised a new writer.
New Writer asked, “But can’t I just . . .”
“No! And another thing . . .” Miss CP had already climbed aboard her high horse. “All these CAPITAL LETTERS have got to go too.” New Writer wasn’t sure why.
“BECAUSE THEY READ AS IF SOMEONE’S YELLING AT YOU!”
New Writer had tears in her eyes. “oh.”
Miss CP was just getting started. “Are you dumber than dirt? Always capitalize the first word of a sentence.” Miss CP smirked. “And these exclamation points! Why on your manuscript’s first page you’ve used more than your whole lifetime’s allotment !!!!”
“Well, er, I mean . . .” New Writer sniffed. “I was trying to create excitement.”
“That’s another thing.” Miss Cranky paused to sigh loudly. “When your character’s a ten year-old boy, excitement comes from bathroom humor, not exclamation points.” She pinched the bridge of her nose, where a headache was coming on.
“You mean the part where the dog gets it’s tail caught in the door isn’t funny?”
“Its tail! The dog caught its tail.”
New Writer drummed her fingers. “Hmm. I guess I could make it a snake instead of a dog. But do snakes even have tails, I mean technically a snake is all tail, you know?
Miss Crankypants picked up New Writer’s manuscript, hoisted it overhead like a WWF wrestler and body slammed it to the floor. “Never,” she said, panting, “ever use the words “I know” or “he knew” in a story. Have you not heard of DEEP POV?”
“Is that anything like present tense?”
Miss Crankypants glanced heavenward. “Oh, I give up . . .”

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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