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– Myra On Writing –

Verbal Garbage
by: Myra Nour

It’s a common mistake – sticking in excess words which aren’t needed. Recently, at a writer’s conference, an editor had this to say, “the readers at publishing houses will have a check list of common errors. If the author goes over their limit (whatever it may be), then the manuscript will get a reject.

Using “as” and “that” inappropriately or too often, were the two main ones she mentioned. I’m not talking about a sentence such as “Do not do that again.” “That” is misused as in, “Serena knew that Rhamus was sad.” The sentence still makes sense without the “that” and actually is stronger.

Also, don’t use “very”, and don’t overuse “suddenly”. You can substitute “unexpectedly, abruptly, in a flash”, or “in a wink”.

The easiest way to check for these mistakes in you writing, is to use the “find” feature on your computer. Good writing!

© 2001 by Myra Nour

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