Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Not Only "That" and "Just", but "Then," Too!

Contemplating My Overuse of "Then"
Cannon Beach, OR with Tilly and Tango

Excerpts from my second book (title and cover reveal coming soon):

He looked down at the toes of his boots and chuffed out a breath like it would be absurd to give her his real name. Then, he lifted his gaze and smiled. “You can call me Honey Bunny.” 
Then, Greer sighed heavily followed by an unpleasant creak as the passenger door opened. “I don’t wanna talk about it,” he said. “I hate beating on kids.” 
 Copy editor note: Too many “thens.” 

Not only do I abuse "that" and "just" but now I have to watch out for "then," too. I searched my 225-page document with 63,562 words and found 200 uses, which I easily downsized to 150. I learn something new about my writing every time I have my work reviewed. Good stuff.

I'm not one to condone complete elimination of words, but I definitely think some need to be used in moderation, adverbs included. Below are some helpful resources, the top one is particularly good:

Write Clearly by Eliminating Unnecessary Words and Rearranging Your Phrases by Purdue Owl
Eight Words to Seek and Destroy in Your Writing by LitReactor 
Words to Avoid by Tameri Guide for Writers
Forty-three Words You Should Cut from Your Writing Immediately by Diana Urban

"Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words."~Mark Twain

No comments: