(Using an exclamation mark in such a way that one proves it was really needed there, in exactly 33 words):



Lounging at the lakeside, they saw a large trout breaking the surface. ‘There’s a monster,’ Ron said.

Julie looked farther* out to where some looping coils suddenly appeared, and repeated, ‘There’s a monster!’


(I can use the above as an ad for Forest Circle Quest, and the Lake Snake which appears therein? Heehee )


‘I loved this,’ does sound rather flat
With comment that one leaves;
Recipient would rather that
You emphasized what (s)he receives;
So, at the end, be sure to park
A healthy exclamation mark!

 (I can’t believe it – this one came out at exactly the right number of words on the very first try!)


Though marks, exclamation, are abused,
And tend to be quite overused,
Writers, whom their use eschewed,
Left their writings rather rude
And, in appearance, nude,
From laziness – or they are not that good!

 (There is definitely a different tone of voice to an exclamation, and the skilled writer keeps the right to have his characters say something flatly when they should be exclaiming, or vice versa. I know people whose whole speech is a series of exclamations – ‘I’ve just had breakfast! We had eggs!’ – and others who would say, ‘There’s a lion coming up behind you,’ in a conversational tone.)

*More accurate than poor ‘further’, which is lately expected to do both jobs.  

Colonialist March 2012 (Letterdash/WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Ruth2Day says:

    I certainly overuse the !, and think for the rest of the month I might try not to use it so much. It’s become such an extension to all our written work these days


  2. Thanks for linking up with Trifextra this weekend. I loved the witty banter. Right or wrong, Fitzgerald got us talking. Hope to see you back again soon.


  3. Laurence says:

    If you can work out whether somebody *means* ‘further’ or ‘farther’, what is the problem?


  4. Jester Queen says:

    Yes – technically farther refers to physical distance while furtherr refers to the remainder of the Grateful Dead.


  5. You are a true wordsmith, not to mention a smarty pants! haha! I loved what you wrote.


  6. kgwaite says:

    I really enjoyed these.


  7. booguloo says:

    Like the poetry a lot.


  8. I come here for sharp wordplay and I’m never disappointed, Col 🙂


  9. adinparadise says:

    Another great post, Col!! 😉


  10. Sonel says:

    You are so good with words! Excellent as always Col. 🙂


  11. twolips2 says:

    I love this!! (two, just for good measure)


  12. The exclamation mark most certainly makes a difference to the written word.
    Nice post Col!


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