I feel stupid asking this because I think I already know the answer. Should I place commas in the following? I don't want the pauses implied with commas, and I want the words to come off in one "breath." If a character is panicking or in extreme denial, would it be okay to write "No no no no no no no!" or "Wait wait wait!" or some similar construction without commas separating the nos? Should I add dashes? "No-no-no-no-no!" Or should I just go with the convention and stick commas in. I'll take this one step further. Some beta readers haven't been tripped up by this. Still, I don't want to (to half-coin a ridiculous metaphor) put all my eggs in my beta readers. , I'm really, really iffy on it. To show panic, high tension, or a rushed feeling, is it okay to omit commas here? I only do this with simple sentences, things that are short and hard to confuse. I wouldn't try this trick with elements that are more than four or five easily grouped words. "He bolted to the kitchen grabbed a knife dashed out confronted the thief." Each element in the sentence is short and can be taken in two- or three-word chunks, but I just don't trust the lack of punctuation. Still, I don't want to break up the sentence with commas to add pauses or even periods. I want a rambling feeling here, but I also don't want this at the expense of clarity or at the risk of the reader chucking the book. I could add "and" between each element, but I want to know my options.