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  1. #1
    Michael Blumental
    Guest

    Using semi-colon in fiction.

    (I'm reposting it as I original posted it in the wrong forum, apologies)

    Microsoft Word makes suggestions for me to use semi-colon in places and I actually like it. I think it had variety to the structure of writing. On the other hand none of my favourite writers do that and I understand that most writers are against that. The main criticism is that it hurts the flow of the reading.

    My question is very specific: considering that I'm working on my first pitch to publishers (and maybe agents if the first round is unsuccessful), am I increasing or decreasing my chances by using semi-colons? Or would most publishers won't mind?

    I haven't used many so editing it to be semi-colon free will take seconds. I would love to hear what you guys think.



  2. #2
    Andrew Smith
    Guest

    Re: Using semi-colon in fiction.

    Semicolons rock. I used them probably more than any writers I work with. Be careful, and I hope you end up with an editor who knows his/her stuff.

    Chances are if your manuscript uses frequent semicolons that you have fairly long sentences. Be aware of that, and keep a sharp eye when self-editing for opportunities to cut those sentences down if they'll read better.

    But I like them.

  3. #3
    jayce
    Guest

    Re: Using semi-colon in fiction.

    I think they're fine in narrative, although I avoid them in dialog and interior monolog.

  4. #4
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Using semi-colon in fiction.

    No reason not to use semicolons in published fiction (your publisher might frown at the hyphen you put in "semicolon," however)--as long as you use them properly.

  5. #5
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: Using semi-colon in fiction.

    My favorite author uses semicolons all the time; they're his favorite punctuation.

  6. #6
    Michael Blumental
    Guest

    Re: Using semi-colon in fiction.

    Oops. I'll use the weak defence that English is only my third language.

    Thanks to everyone!

  7. #7
    joydeb
    Guest

    Re: Using semi-colon in fiction.

    I'm surprised nobody picked up on the fact that you're submitting to publishers first, then if no nibbles, will move on to agents. Agents don't generally want anything that's already been turned down by publishers. Who are they going to pitch to?

  8. #8
    joydeb
    Guest

    Re: Using semi-colon in fiction.

    Okay, I see on another thread someone did mention the agent/publisher thing. I guess I should start at the top of the forum pages instead of at the bottom.

  9. #9
    stevenlabree τΏτ
    Guest

    Re: Using semi-colon in fiction.

    "My favorite author uses semicolons all the time; they're his favorite punctuation."

    Are you talking about me again, Mutt?

  10. #10
    the cat came back
    Guest

    Re: Using semi-colon in fiction.

    Microsoft Word makes suggestions for me to use semi-colon in places and I actually like it. I think it had vari;ety to the structure of writing. On the other hand none of my favourite writers do that and I understand that most writers are against that. The main criticism is that it hurts the flow of the reading.

    I don't see how a semicolon hurts the flow of the writing; in fact, it can improve it. -)

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