Do you have any idea how many times I used the word that? OMG! I mean, I'd mention this, that, or the other, or that night, that man, that thing . . . and that, that, that, that, that, and dang it, that again!
I have decided that (OMG, see how easy it is to use the word) the word that, for the most part, is a useless word. Yes, useless. I don't need to use that as much as I do. I mean, check this out . . .
Jared knew that Wes was not the most reliable of people.
Now, check this out . . .
Jared knew Wes was not the most reliable of people.
That is totally useless, not needed, and thus, it disappeared from the sentence, and countless more (trust me on (big grin and wink) that!) as I began the elimination of words revision process yesterday!
I also learned, that many other words can more readily replace that - such as who, which, the, and so many more. It's all about context.
Now, I didn't eliminate every instance of that because sometimes, the word seemed to fit. In any case where it did not, I took out the word. Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete!
I'm halfway through the manuscript with the that search right now. Sigh! I hope
Now, here's my question for the day - Contractions or no contractions? No, I'm not in labor, though I sometimes equate writing with labor. I'm just saying. Or perhaps my question should be - did not versus didn't? I eliminated quite a few words yesterday by creating contractions!
I read somewhere that a writer should write out the contractions, i.e., use could not instead of couldn't. So, that's what I did. Then, a reader made a comment that could not sounded to formal, and I should use couldn't. Geesh! Yes, as I went through yesterday, I created contractions left and right. Octomom beware! Do you use contractions in your writing? If so, why? If not, why?
Lastly - I want to thank everyone else who left a comment here. Your comments/advice have really helped. I'd love to do a link to every single one of you, but I seriously don't have the time this morning. So, newbies to this blog, check out the post and the comments, click on the names, and check out the blogs of the commenters. They're great sources of information!