Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Eliminating the Unnecessary that

...include it when:
  1. A time element comes after verb ...he said on Friday that...
  2. Point of sentence comes late ...found that the violin
  3. One or more verbs after main verb ...he thinks that the idea stinks
Read your narrative with and without the that. If it makes sense without...go with that.

Write Every Day!


Monday, May 3, 2010


Today I multitask. First, I'm looking for feedback. I have a compulsion to teach in my critiques. Is it at all the critiquers responsibility/right to teach? Or, is it the critiquer's duty to simply point out how the piece felt?

I've been writing "CPU" on my critiques a lot lately…and explain: "concise—precise—uncluttered." I get the following from my studies:

  • Use words that come naturally to you
  • Direct and simple
  • Avoid stereotypes and cliches
  • Precise – reduce confusion, get the reader to the point quickly
  • Concise – illiminate unecessary description, comparison, exposition that doesn’t add value
  • Uncluttered
    • Manage the storyline
    • Use description that facilitates the scene and mood
    • Don't interrupt the flow of your prose with unnecessary detail
  • Pay attention to word choice
    • Synonyms – use the richness of the language
    • Figurative language – to create imagry
    • Metaphors – liven up exposition
    • Similes – to create imagry
    • Irony – leverage incongruity
Write Every day!