Dun Writin’—Now Whut? A series by Susan Uttendorfsky – Owner of Adirondack Editing – (03 THAT’s the Problem in Revising)

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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THAT’s the Problem in Revising

What’s the problem?”

That’s the problem.”

What?”

That.”

I don’t get it.”

That’s the problem.”

Sound like the old “Who’s on first” routine? Extraneous words that make a writer’s work bulky need to be eliminated. But how can you eliminate words that you don’t even see? That’s the problem, and that is one of those words that can usually be cut. Dialogue that is casual regularly contains many incidences of that word, but when it comes to writing, that can usually be deleted.

Are you still confused? If a sentence is understandable without “that” in it, take it out.

Example: “She told him that she was leaving” reads just fine as “She told him she was leaving.”

But why bother going through your manuscript at all to cut out extraneous words? Writing is a difficult, creative process. It’s nearly…

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