I have been accused — shock, horror — of using the dash (the one that indicates a three-quarters pause) too much in my fiction. Thing is — I quite like the effect (the space inserted in sentences by the slightly extended pause) it has on my writing and I'm rather reluctant to part with it unless I'm given an excellent alternative.
I've read a little around the subject and I've seen that commas, colons and semicolons are suggested as replacements, but they just don't seem to have the same effect for me.
So, in the interests of finding something a little more robust, my question is: what ways exist to rephrase prose so that a dash is not needed?
I noticed that there are a few questions relating to the em dash, but none that really hit the nail on the head for me. The closest is this: When to use the em dash (—) in fiction writing?. Neil Fein's answer mentions that 'Em dashes are easily edited out, and the clumsy sentences rewritten', but doesn't elaborate, and that's the extra step that I'm looking for.