Posted in Writing Tips

Are YOU understanding the EMPHASIS in my writing?!

When I read something, whether it be a book, a novella, a blog post, or just a Facebook status, I cringe at the overuse of emphasis. Yes, I see what you’re trying to say. Yes, I understand that this moment or spurt of dialogue is immeasurably important, but that does not mean you must bombard me with ALL CAPS, italics, bold, and—god forbid—more than one exclamation mark!!

Please don’t do this. Especially not in your writing.

Ever heard that you get to use one exclamation mark every 100,000 words? When I first heard that, I kind of laughed, but now, I couldn’t agree more. By italicizing and bolding and EXCLAIMING PASSIONATELY everything you say, you’re actually achieving the opposite effect. You’re not conveying the importance of your phrase or word or whatever—you’re jarring me out of your story and, quite frankly, annoying me.

I mean, isn’t this ANNOYING to read?!?!

This is more of a rant than anything, but the point is: Don’t OVERUSE emphasis in your writing!!!!

There is a time and place for everything, so if you must use italics or exclamation marks, use them sparingly. (There really is no excuse for all caps or bold.)

What are your thoughts on emphasis in writing?



Hello! My name is Katie and I like to write. If I'm not writing, I'm probably reading, running, playing with my dogs, or eating peanut butter ;)

2 thoughts on “Are YOU understanding the EMPHASIS in my writing?!

    1. That’s another good one. I remember reading a book series a few years ago where the author had something in “quotation marks” at least once every chapter. It drove me crazy.


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