That

Okay, That is a weird title for a blog post. Actually That is a word that is useless most of the time that it is used. I seem to sprinkle that in my writing any time that I think that it is needed. Oh my gosh! That is really bad.

I’ve been editing my own work for what seems like months now. After reading a bunch of books on editing, including Strunk and White’s, The Elements of Style, and Self Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King, I’ve learned a ton.

Just by using my search and find tool and looking at one thing at a time, I’ve cut five hundred useless words from my manuscript. The biggest culprit, that. Another big source for unnecessary words are adverbs. (Words that end with ly, sleepily, angrily, gaily.)

The adverb trap leads to some laughable, but tiresome, passages in writing, called Tom Swifties. You’ve seen them before; “He ran as fast as he could,” Tom said swiftly. Uggh. “You could just cut out the adverb altogether,” she laughed, happily. Just by searching for ly you can eliminate nearly all of them. According to Remmi Brown and Dave King, you can get rid of all of them. Yup, every one.

These aren’t the only problems that are in my writing, but by fixing just the simple things my writing sounds better, flows nicely, and almost looks professional. Wait a minute, nicely? Scratch that.

These aren’t the only problems in my writing, but by fixing the simple things, my writing is better.

Now, for my comma problem…

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