Friday, January 26, 2007

That's That

An old racetrack joke reminds you that your program contains all the winners' names. I stare at my typewriter keys with the same thought. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook

I finished working through my edits yesterday, and had an epiphany. Well, okay, actually I read a comment from my editor, but it amounts to the same thing.

She said: 95% of the time the word "that" is unnecessary.

Half of you are probably snickering to yourselves ("She didn't know that?" -- incidentally that "that" is necessary). But I imagine there are many of you who will have your eyes opened like I did.

---> Joe decided that he wanted a cookie.
---> That is why she needed to leave today.
---> Camilla couldn't believe that she'd forgotten the kittens.

I went through my contest entry for Camilla and did a search on "that". I ended up removing well over half of them.

I went to bed last night really feeling like I'd accomplished something. It seems a little silly, but I felt like "real" writer for the first time in a long time.

And all it took was "that".

Next up? "Try" and "Was, would, should and have/'ve".

I can't wait.

And now, just for fun:

You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others

Oooh... I like this one much better:

Star Wars Horoscope for Capricorn

You have a ton of ambition and inexhaustible desire to reach your goals.
You are very loyal, going to great lengths to help someone out.
You are a very social unit, winning the hearts of many with your cute personality.

Star wars character you are most like: R2D2


anno said...

I sympathize with you on "that." I've worked hard to take them out, but recently I worked with an editor (very Germanic) who insisted on adding them in, "for clarity."

Love the quizzes... turns out, I'm Hans Solo!

Tori Lennox said...

I'm really bad about using "that". Even though I know it's wrong. *g*