Emphasising a point

Here is another expansion in the middle of a sentence, but this time it’s not a list of examples—it's a way of emphasising the point made in the first clause.

Mom and Dad had no money for braces, of course—none of us kids had ever even been to the dentist—but since I'd been babysitting and doing other kids' homework for cash, I resolved to save up until I could afford braces myself.

Walls is emphasizing a point by providing an extreme example (a bit like taking it to another level). Specifically, she wants to show just how poor her family was—and how unlikely it was that she would be able to get braces.

Jenny and Marco had no money for sneakers, of course—they couldn't even afford flip-flops—but after Jenny got a job delivering catalogues on her bike, they agreed to save up all her money and then spend it on shoes.

Mum and Dad had no interest in going to our parent teacher evening—they'd never so much as set foot in our school—but since I so wanted them to talk to Ms Wallace, I decided to find a way to trick them into attending.

We didn't know anything about Mexican wrestling, of course—none of us had so much as seen it on YouTube—but Solly had managed to get hold of a comic called La Mano el Destino, and that was enough to get us started towards becoming 8th grade luchadores.

Let’s write some variations. This snippet is challenging, so here are some tips to help you:

  • Imagine something you think would be a difficult situation for someone
  • Just tell us enough to know what the situation is and who's in it
  • Use em dashes to break out an example of just how difficult that situation is
  • Then explain what is going to help the characters get out of it
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