- Paperback: 206 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (April 17, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393329801
- ISBN-13: 978-0393329803
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation 1st Edition
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About the Author
Noah Lukeman is the author of several bestselling books on the craft of writing, among them A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation. Noah lives in New York City, where he runs a literary agency.
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Top Customer Reviews
Noah has written this book specifically for fiction writers, because lets face it, we can get away with more shall we say 'creative license' than other forms of writing.
The first part of the book is devoted to the period . / the comma , / and the semicolon ; Noah gives us many great examples on each, showing us what all these punctuation marks can do for pace and maturity in a book. I really enjoyed how he describes looking at your work and having a good think about each mark you place. What is it like without it, what if you add a semicolon, does it build suspense etc etc
In the second part he touches on colons : / dashes - - / parentheses ( ) / quotation marks " " / paragraph breaks and section breaks. This is the only area I was slightly disappointed. The information on dashes and parentheses was really good, but I thought the quotation marks was a little thinner that I would rather. Speech in a book is one of the most visible punctuation areas and I struggle a little with using it effectively. Still, it gave me more knowledge than I had before, and I suspect you could write a whole book on effective use of quotation marks.
The last section includes the question mark ? / exclamation point ! / italics / points of ellipses ... and the hyphen - By this time the book feels like it is in wrap up mode, but there is still a great amount of knowledge imparted with great examples from familiar literature.
At the end of each section Noah includes exercises you can try out with your own work. I have done a couple of them and my writing is definitely better for it.
I am VERY glad I bought this book and already it is a reference for my own writing. Noah Lukeman's style is engaging enough that you can read it without putting yourself to sleep. Anyone who is writing fiction will get great use out of "A Dash of Style - The Art and Mastery of Punctuation".
This book's uniqueness arises from its approach: illustrating punctuation "rules" with examples drawn mostly from literary works. Moreover, the author points out how literary masters flout "rules" to create special effects. The works cited include excerpts from numerous writers such as Mark Twain, William Faulkner, and Joyce Carol Oates.
Excellent book for fiction writers.
C J Singh
I wasn't going to give this book a look but since I think Noah Lukeman's other two books are so good I decided to give this one a go. Luckily it was easy and didn't cost me anything: my local library had a copy.
As I progressed through it I saw how wrong I was. Noah Lukeman has obviously been editing and writing books for quite some time and has insight into how things should be done and luckily he is kind enough to share his wisdom with the rest of us.
I got half-way through the library copy and decided this one was a keeper. I ordered my own copy from Amazon. Grab a copy, and if you don't have his first two books, get them too.
Mr. Lukeman, forgive me for even being the least bit skeptical. After reading your first two books I should have known you would never put out anything that wasn't thoroughly useful to other authors. Thanks a bunch, and I look forward to whatever you've got coming next.