Don’t Use Too Many Exclamations Points---Write Naturally!!!

I love to write. It can be a more powerful tool then the spoken word.

Ideas shared by writing tend to be more clearly presented and more well thought out then the off-the-cuff remarks made in daily conversation. Yet, I have heard the advice, “ write how you talk.” Well, this is to be taken with a grain of salt, or there would be too many um, well, err, distractions. And, although you should not drastically change your vocabulary in order to impress, you have more time to come up with a word that more clearly expresses your idea, and you should take full advantage, for the sake of clarity and brevity. Maybe the better advice would be, “to write naturally.” Yeah, I like that “write naturally!”

If you were to meet me in real life, I think you would find me to be an emphatic person. I get an idea, and express it not just with words but also with my body. My eyebrows raise, my voice raises, my hands dance, I get excited, I smile, my eyes well-up and sometimes I shake with emotion. Not having the physicality of talking is one of the more difficult aspects of writing, especially for me. I am a rare case of someone that enjoys public speaking, especially if it is something that I wrote, giving me the opportunity to act out my own words. But this opportunity doesn’t come often, and as writers, we have to learn that the only emotional cues given to the reader, is through written words and punctuation. All we are given are commas, quotes and exclamation points to manipulate our readers reactions to our words.

When I first started to write I would use way too many exclamation points. Which is a problem because they loose their effect quickly if used too often. If you want to show emotion you have to evoke it with real content. Not just exclamations points!

I still find myself over-using them, I cant stop! So in order to control my overuse of the exclamation, I have made a very conscious effort to eliminate them almost entirely. I find that they try to sneak there way into almost all my writing, text messages and short emails are particularly vulnerable. Yep, I just reviewed my phone and almost every text has an exclamation. I need to go to exclamation rehab.

If any of you other writers out there have a trick or advice for me, on how to evoke emotion with words and punctuation without exclamations, please. lead us, me, to the light. I am a very emphatic dude who finds writing a little bit frustrating in it’s limitations.


I hope you enjoyed this hub and topic. Please leave a comment!

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Comments 12 comments

Adnohr profile image

Adnohr 5 years ago from Canada

Darn - no advice to give. I use too many of them too, and also alot of....well, you know...these dot thingies. (sigh). WHere was that rehab address again?


PaulStaley1 profile image

PaulStaley1 5 years ago from With the wind---(or against it) Author

Man.....I thought I was the only one with the dots....an even bigger problem for me then exclamations! They just seem more real then commas----darn......and thanks for the comment!


dallaswriter profile image

dallaswriter 5 years ago from North Carolina

You mean we shouldn't use dots??? LOL! I am in trouble then...... (oops!)


Clare-Louise profile image

Clare-Louise 5 years ago from Birmingham UK

Hey I've only just weaned myself off smilies, don't think I'm ready for working on exclamations yet... of which I'm guilty of double, treble even quadruples!!!! I had thought about it too... and then there's the dots... ah dear! no help here. ;P


CountryCityWoman profile image

CountryCityWoman 5 years ago from From New York City to North Carolina

Love the exclamation point - and can't resist using them - but yes there is a time and place - but they are so good-looking - almost as attractive as ellipses...which I love to use too. Thanks for the hub and rated up. Yay!!!


what_say_you profile image

what_say_you 5 years ago from Louisiana

Paul, you have no idea how many times I had to re-type my comment because I had to stop myself from using my pathetic punctuation skills. I don't remember when or how I got so far away from the basics but I do know I will be paying more attention. I have to admit.....I can't be without my dots! I know I can cut back on the exclamations but I am already feeling a little nervous about the dots. Thanks for posting an ORIGINAL Hub that I truly enjoyed reading.


PaulStaley1 profile image

PaulStaley1 5 years ago from With the wind---(or against it) Author

Thanks for reading what-say-you! Maybe it is the modern technology that has corrupted us! Lol!


Qbrown9 5 years ago

Funny, prior to reading your hub, I commented on your comment on my hub and strangely enough included an exclamation point after my "hey!" which is so unlike me. You must have been sending out an "exclamation" vibe. I agree, word choice does the trick just as nicely. But, I can't avoid the ole WHAT?! when warranted. And of course my texts usually always have !!!! along with misspellings etc.


PaulStaley1 profile image

PaulStaley1 5 years ago from With the wind---(or against it) Author

Nice to see you here Qbrown! I read through some of your hubs and you are quite an eloquent writer. Thanks for coming by amiga!


Heidesigns profile image

Heidesigns 5 years ago from North Carolina

My thoughts go on forever....hence the dot, dot, dot....see what I mean...*laughing*


PaulStaley1 profile image

PaulStaley1 5 years ago from With the wind---(or against it) Author

Hey Heidisigns.......the problem is......well.......I am thinking about starting to use dashes----you know what I mean!


Heidesigns 5 years ago

Yes! I DO! *laughing*

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