Re: Joe Abercrombie punctuation
I certainly use dashes occasionally when writing fiction, but wouldn't like to see them overused. I tend to use them where you might pause in speech, or be making an aside.
I only use colons for the precursor sentence to a list, so only in technical documents.
The type of lists can be:
Something weird because I've run out of list types and I needed a third point to make it worth having a list.
I know what to do with semi-colons, in terms of separating linked clauses, but I generally don't use them in fiction. Would tend to re-phrase sentences as I prefer a more speech-like, story-telliing, narrated feel/flow to the text. Again, might use them in a technical document.