Punctuation: Is It Important?
You betcha! Just as important as any other grammatical rules we writers live by.
Varying your punctuation can add that little touch of attractiveness to each sentence, each paragraph that sticking to the tried-and-true commas and periods with the occasional query or exclamation mark cannot, by themselves, add.
As an example, here’s a segment from one of my stories, with nothing other than commas and periods:
‘Before Antonia’s terrified eyes, the huge, spade-like head darted forward, a black blur moving so fast, Victor didn’t stand a chance. The jaws opened then snapped shut again, around his torso, and as the weight came off his broken leg and the bones straightened out, he screamed.
He kept on screaming as the monstrous jaws lifted him up into the air, held him with his legs falling to one side of the mouth, the chest and head to the other. Victor’s screams did not stop until he disappeared completely inside the cavernous mouth.
Elery turned away, sickened by the sight, and vomited over the edge of the rock lip on which he stood. Antonia, too, felt sick in her stomach: but she could not take her eyes off the huge, blood-red eyes of the serpent. Those eyes were now staring straight at her.’
Now let’s look at the same segment again (from ‘Anhanga – Beast from the Underwor