A couple of people have asked about the way I punctuate my writing and how complex it appears to be, but when I try reading something that has no punctuation [or just commas] it's tiring; boredom sets in and I lose interest.
This is how I approach it:
- Commas are for short pauses in speech
- Semicolons are for longer pauses or breaks in a sentence
- Colons signify the start of a list with each item separated by a semicolon (unless each item is on its own line) [like here]
- Round brackets are used to add extra information
- Square brackets contain thoughts or related comments that aren't part of the text, a bit like narration
- Hyphens are a bit like commas, but if you remove anything contained within them you will still be able to read the sentence
That pretty much cover most of the things you'll find and how I use them.