A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation

Overview

The first practical and accessible guide to the art of punctuation for creative writers.

Punctuation reveals the writer: haphazard commas, for example, reveal haphazard thinking; clear, lucid breaks reveal clear, lucid thinking. Punctuation can be used to teach the writer how to think and how to write. This short, practical book shows authors the benefits that can be reaped from mastering punctuation: the art of style, sentence length, ...
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Overview

The first practical and accessible guide to the art of punctuation for creative writers.

Punctuation reveals the writer: haphazard commas, for example, reveal haphazard thinking; clear, lucid breaks reveal clear, lucid thinking. Punctuation can be used to teach the writer how to think and how to write. This short, practical book shows authors the benefits that can be reaped from mastering punctuation: the art of style, sentence length, meaning, and economy of words. There are full-length chapters devoted to the period, the comma, the semicolon, the colon, quotation marks, the dash and parentheses, the paragraph and section break, and a cumulative chapter on integrating them all into "The Symphony of Punctuation." Filled with exercises and examples from literary masters (Why did Poe and Melville rely on the semicolon? Why did Hemingway embrace the period?), A Dash of Style is interactive, highly engaging, and a necessity for creative writers as well as for anyone looking to make punctuation their friend instead of their mysterious foe.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Addressing creative writers, literary agent Lukeman here abandons the grammar explanations and humor that dominate Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots and Leaves and Richard Lederer and John Shore's Comma Sense. Instead, Lukeman acts as a composition teacher and even appends end-of-chapter exercises. Five chapters each focus on a different punctuation mark, two chapters combine discussion of two or more marks, and one tackles the paragraph and section break. In the chapter on the period, Lukeman's exercises request both a story's opening sentence lasting a whole page and an opening paragraph in which sentences have no more than six words. To contrast writing styles, the author compares the exclamation point to brightly colored clothing "best left in the closet," while Lederer and Shore insist, "And, please, never use two or more exclamation points in a clump!!!" Similarly, Lukeman offers literary examples from major writers like Mark Twain, while Truss dissects poorly punctuated public signs. The "Writing Exercises" ideas are Lukeman's best contribution, and particularly for these, this work is recommended for academic and large public libraries.-Marianne Orme, Des Plaines P.L., IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393060874
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/25/2006
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Noah Lukeman is the author of the best-selling books on writing The First Five Pages and The Plot Thickens, now featured in curricula in many universities. He lives in New York City.
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