Just a short post today, and an invitation to comment and discuss.
This has to do with all fiction, not just specifically the mystery book, but I do see it a lot in novice mystery novelists that I read ... the overuse of exclamation points. As if yelling your story to me will add to the intensity, the mystery, the suspense, the overall gripping nature of your tale. You know, passages like-
"Oh my god! It's a vampire!" Joan screamed. She had to hurry - it was fast gaining on her! "Help!" she hollered to no one, and thought, There's nobody to come to my aid ... I'm doomed!
Puh-leease. You are not getting me worked up and excited with your story that sounds like a constantly barking dog. It's kind of like the parent who yells at his or her kids all the time. After a while, the children become numb to the decibel level and just ignore the shouts. Takes a hammer over the head to get their attention. On the other hand, a parent who always speaks in an even tone and exhibits steady self control only has to raise their voice a little bit to get the kids' undivided attention. Woa - they perk up and think, better pay attention. Mom hardly ever raises her voice like that.
And so it is with any good writing, and particularly with mystery/thriller/suspense novels. Restraint, self control, and a guided steady slow build to the intensity is far better, and an indication of masterful writing, than is constantly resorting to over writing through the easy use of loud punctuations.
What say you all?