It’s a simple phrase that can sometimes give you the kick in the pants to view your writing in a new light, “I challenge you…” Often, it has been the one phrase that has taken my writing to new levels.
When I was in my Intermediate NonFiction class last semester, my professor challenged us to adopt a piece of punctuation and give it new life, or to at least play with it. Yeah, you may love the ellipsis, but what about semicolons? Or the Em Dash? You see, half the fun of writing is seeing how things work when we use them in new experimental ways. When I adopted the Em Dash last semester, I discovered I loved using it to give my prose an extra punch when I’m leading up to something in an intense rant. Any more, the Em Dash is now a regular part of my writing arsenal.
So how about you? Is there a way you can adopt a piece of punctuation and experiment with it? Is there a piece of punctuation you absolutely despise? Adopt a punctuation mark and see where it takes you. You may find that you have a new favorite.