Thursday, March 31, 2005

Sloppy Writing

Sloppy writing detracts from the story. That's a given. I have a real problem with four little words. Just. Had. That. Get.
"Just" and "that" are essentially useless. If you read back through the story, most times these two words can simply be deleted.
"Had" will sometimes add to the story. But seldom. This is another word which is a red flag for me.
When I self-edit, these are the things I've noticed more and more.
I try to tighten up my story piece by piece.
"Get" is a real pain in the rear.
"I don't get you!" Use instead: "I don't understand you!"
"Get your rear in gear" Use "Put your rear in gear."
"I need to get some groceries" Use "I need to buy some groceries."

The word "get" simply irritates me. It's lazy and sloppy. You can use so many other words instead. But when I'm in a hurry, and writing the first draft, "get" is my bud. Second read yields me banging my head on the keyboard in frustration and using my handy dandy dictionary and thesaurus.

Another problem...ADVERBS. *insert "Psycho" shower theme music*

"I don't care," he said slowly. ARGH! How's about--"I don't care," he drawled.
"No!" she said angrily. ----- "No!" she spat.
I'm bad about this one, too. I want so badly to convey mood and emotion in conversation, but there are better ways.
I'm going to do an exercise this weekend and list some conversation indicators. *snickering* I love when I make up terms.
Instead of ADVERB world, I will list verbs which retain the smooth flow of conversation. I will post these above my computer. And I will use them.

"I had to just type that, didn't I?" I suddenly grinned.

I have my work cut out for me. :)~~



username said...

It appears as though you have the same pet peeves I have, so you're in good company. *g*


J&J'sMom said...

I can't write for sh**, however, the word "got" needs to be removed from the English language. I agree whole heartedly.

Surfed in from Demented Michele's. Hello!

chryscat said...


Welcome! So pleased to see you.
Isn't the decline of our English language amazing? "Got" is an irritant.
And...there are days I can't write for sh** either. I'm not going to be giving out percentages. :)~

Olga said...

I was browsing through blogs, and the post attracted my attention. I think many writers can relate to this. I try to use strong verbs instead of a weak verb with an adverb and delete "just" and "that" wherever I can. And you have great excercise about the word "get". Best of luck in your writing.

chryscat said...


Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate you posting a comment.
That word "get" gets my goat.