Chapter Paragraph

Chapter Paragraph

A Story by Karen Redburn

With minutes to spare Heather arrives at the office. She picks up the oversized bag from the passenger seat and grunts. It’s heavy as hell. Rifling through it --notebook, lunch, water bottle, wallet, keys-- all present and accounted for. She slings the strap over her shoulder, walks up the steps and through the glass doors of building 5, Norwest St.

© 2017 Karen Redburn

Author's Note

Karen Redburn
Help with dashes, please. Are they used correctly in this paragraph? Thanks you!

My Review

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What follows is a somewhat subtle distinction in the use of dashes. Dashes before and after a phrase make the phrase somewhat parenthetical, in the sense that you can drop it and still have a sentence. A single dash introduces an afterthought or an extension to the statement, which is similar to the use of a colon. In your case -- with the double dashes -- if you drop the words between the dashes, you no longer have a sentence: "rifling through it -- all present and accounted for" doesn't make sense. I suggest this: "Rifling through it -- notebook, lunch, water bottle, wallet, keys; all present and accounted for." A semicolon in this context is like a soft period.

Posted 1 Week Ago

Karen Redburn

1 Week Ago

Thank you very much for this, Robert. I will need to bookmark this review somehow, you've laid out t.. read more
This comment has been deleted by the poster.

1 Week Ago

I, too, use commas to enclose some phrases; however, given what I've learned, I do this because some.. read more
The use of the dashes looks fine to me. Going further, the writing is crisp and efficient.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago

This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Karen Redburn

2 Weeks Ago

Thank you as always for the advice. Just an fyi, this is what I did to correct the paragraph on the .. read more

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2 Reviews
Added on November 29, 2017
Last Updated on November 29, 2017
Tags: drama, horror, thriller


Karen Redburn
Karen Redburn

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Life long reader, who loves to write. Interested in connecting with other writers, sharing ideas and reviews. I have two cats, Fifi and Tigger who keep me company, or distracted, during the lo.. more..