A question about something that grates my irk bone (cf. early editions of Sundays Supplement).
Q: What’s your stance on exclamation marks?
J. E. Taylor: Here’s my take on exclamation points – too many in a work of fiction is down right annoying. It’s akin to typing a message all in caps. In my mind, it’s overkill. A couple in the space of an entire novel-length manuscript may be acceptable, but it is something that should not be relied upon as an expression of exasperation or surprise or raising ones voice. Let your dialog tell the story – not the exclamation point.
Dialog cues are also a handy tool to use to set the mood as well as the character’s physical traits. It’s better to reach the audience with visceral emotion as opposed to something so blatant as an exclamation point that doesn’t carry the same amount of power.
I’m with Mr Lippman on this, and also with Jake (I can’t embed that video, but it’s worth watching for the funny).