I recently read four books in a row wherein the main character is hiding, and his heart was beating so loud he was sure his pursuers could hear it! I decided then and there never to use that phrase!
These exclamation points show my outrage, surprise, and conviction, and the reaction of the MC, but those emotions should be as plain as the nose on your face, and quite simply aren't necessary. (Truth be told, the paragraph had its genesis as a comment on cliches and not homework, but I zeroed in on the once in a lifetime opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.)
Danielle stormed into the house, hair flying like Medusa's and her eyes a volcano of emotion. "Mom! Where are you!"
I so wanted to say "eyes blazing, but forced myself to think of something not quite so cliched
Try as I might, I couldn't think of a good use for an exclamation point outside the realm of dialogue or, once in a blue moon, in a first person narrative .
On a not-quite-side point: The current Challenge theme is as good an excuse as any to use an exclamation point.
Jesse peered into the fridge. "Ohh! I forgot about the brownie fudge delight! I'm so glad Susie made me take home a hunk after her party last night."
"Ouch!" I reached down to pluck one of Johnny's Legos from my heel.
When I wrap my head around a true-blue use for the E-point, I'll be back in a flash to share it with the world.
Tata for now