The thing with punctuation is that it is as much a part of your style as words. And just like them, each mark as a meaning and the journey to finding your voice is mandated to cross punctuation city as some point (no pun intended).
I use periods a lot
Actually, they make themselves pretty useful when I want to introduce tension in a story. I craft short phrases and brutally end them with a period. They can mimic heartbeat. They can mimic a pounding noise. They can mimic haste. They also perfectly underline an opinion by cutting the conversation short.
I use commas a lot also
I use them as a tool to introduce an enumeratio, as a polite way to introduce an explanation or as a device to inject some air in my text. To fix a text that seems to dense, just read it out loud.
The missing commas, if there are any, will become obvious.
I recently discovered the discussion around oxford commas. It sounds a bit exotic to me because it is considered as a part of grammar in my country.
I’m very cautious about exclamation mark
It tends to be overwhelming. It stars as being an excitement sign, something used to emphasize joy and happyness and ands up being an injunction symbol full of imperative forms.
I prefer to deal with the words first
I also try to use all the other punctuation mark. The important thing is that I try to be intentional about this : treat them as a tool in my writer’s arsenal to craft stories.
Bottom line : I treat punctuation marks as devices with a meaning, just like words. So I’m careful about it.
To go further :
This article is a response to today’s prompt on the Daily post.