Friday, November 21, 2008

Too Much Information

The best thing that's ever happened to my writing is some editing I've been doing lately. The writers are fairly new to the business and boy, does it show. Master's degrees, judge's robes, television careers--these folks have street cred, but they never use four words when 12 will do.

They "that" me to death. In fact, I'm considering a petition to remove the words "that" and "will" from the dictionary. No one ever "needs" something, they "will need." And good points may lurk under those tangled skeins of prepositional phrases, but damned if I can find them.

"There are." Do NOT get me started on "there are."

It's the writing equivalent of "What Not to Wear." Every twisted sentence reminds me to write tighter. I've seen Robin Hood's barn. Where's the Promised Land?

6 comments:

kario said...

You go, girl! Tighten those younguns up!

Doubting Thomas said...

Yep. Nothing like working with novices to reassure us that we actually have some competence.

In my entire career, I remember one writer only who arrived fully able to write sentences that sang nicely, just as they were.

Let's see, what was her name......?

luckyzmom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
george said...

when i was a newspaper reporter, my most cherished collegial relationships were with copy editors who "got" me. they would remove my thats and untanagle my clauses. they would find agreement among my subjects and verbs and pull my participles safely back from the edge of the sentence where they dangled

Deb said...

I wonder if they know how lucky they are to have you reading their stuff!

luckyzmom said...

A new approach can be beneficial. I learned THAT from my first experience............

Wow, I just realized THAT I am editing myself like crazy.