I think I have an em-dash problem.

Posted: November 12, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

You know how some writers have these little annoying tics that they have, where they get obsessed with certain phrase structures and keep using it over and over again?

Well, I think I’m having that problem right now.

Or, rather, I’ve had it for a long time, but I’m only beginning to realize how frigging annoying it is.

I overuse parenthetical statements.

More specifically, I overuse parenthetical statements with em-dashes, rather than the more usual commas or parentheses.

I just did a count of em-dashes on The Lotus Imperiate, and I found out that there are 232 em-dashes in the whole document.

In a manuscript that is currently 219 pages long.


It’s incredibly annoying, because I want to destroy every parenthetical statement that I put down on paper. I want to cleanse my body of this foulness. It happens often enough that even I notice it, and I’m the writer. I’m not supposed to notice my individual stylistic tics.

So, what am I supposed to do? Is there some sort of chemotherapy by which I might purge myself of this disease? Some sort of em-dash enema?

An emema, perhaps?

~ Ian


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