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The fight was well fought but violent--this made it a tough watch.

The car soaks up fuel and is tough to drive, that being said, it looks good.

The story has surreal overtones-- there are parts that cross into fantasy.

On these sentences does 'there/this' constiutute a independent clause and need a semi-colon or conjunction such as 'and' or can em-dash be used.

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Both clauses in each of your sentences are independent and could be connected by semi-colons or each could be punctuated with a full-stop. An em-dash is the unruliest of punctuation marks—it can be used to separate independent clauses which are semantically connected, especially in informal prose.

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  • What is the term when the first independent sentence relates directly to the - 'this' starting sentence. They are both independent sentences but the second is relying on the first.
    – bluebell1
    Jun 28, 2018 at 10:40
  • The term asyndeton refers to the phenomenon of clauses that lack some kind of linking word. But your sentence are not unusual except in terms of their punctuation. This and that can refer back to the gist of an earlier statement.
    – TimR
    Jun 28, 2018 at 10:53

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