I am an em dash abuser. I tend to use the quick symbol all over the place. I type in em dashes wherever a comma would suffice. Sigh.
In The Elements of Style, Strunk and White said, "A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parentheses."
I think my em dash habit is due--in part--to the way I speak. I speak in em dashes!
I have a few examples from The Keeper's Promise below. You see how I originally typed each phrase and how I fixed them.
This was why Bryce loved Shucker's Point--why he had stayed here when many others had left.
It now reads:
This was why Bryce loved Shucker's Point, and why he had stayed here when many others had left.
Sometimes I didn't really need the em dash at all.
that she wasn't a vicious killer--or a psychopath.
Just one simple conjunction works fine:
that she wasn't a vicious killer or a psychopath.
Everyone needs an editor. I have been very grateful for mine.