It’s such an innocuous sort of word. You don’t think it’s a big deal, that it’s doing that much damage. You sprinkle it in, probably like you talk, all through your manuscript. Like salt.
And like salt, it can quickly get overwhelming. Become the kneejerk seasoning for the whole thing, until all you can taste is THAT THAT THAT and you’ve become a lazy cook, pouring out sentences with infinitely lazy construction and unnecessary “that”s all throughout.
Yesterday, I opened up an Epic Can of Massive Whoopass on all the “that”s in my manuscript. I’m pretty sure I had an eye twitch by the time I was through. Duuuuude. When did my literary palette get this…unrefined and LAZY?
After I took out the unnecessary “that”s, I went after the “like”s and the “had been”s.
Today, “it”, “of”, and “was” are scheduled for termination. My keyboard guillotine is ready to fly. It’s getting bloody and I haven’t even gotten to the line edits proper, where I make every effort to polish up EVERY SINGLE LINE and make it shine. That’s on deck this weekend, between the wedding we’re shooting on Saturday and finding time on Sunday to go see the latest Percy Jackson movie.
In other news, my long blah streak in reading was ended by Donna Kauffman’s Sugar Rush, which I loved so much, I actually felt like blowing stuff off to finish it (really, all those scans and updates needed to be run on my work computer this morning…I promise). I’ll be diving into the next one later, after I’ve put in a full day’s work.