Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another IT factor -- "As It"

Here's another way the word it cues weakness in a sentence. You know how writers are sometimes advised to eliminate the word as? Usually, we're talking about problems of simultaneity, but not always. Sometimes, it's just plain old wordiness.

Watch for the word combo, as it.

She listened to the roar of the crowd as it erupted from the sports stadium.

You can kill as it and get a stronger sentence.

She listened to the roar of the crowd erupt from the sports stadium.

It's still wordy, but it's better, and this is a very easy fix to spot and to make.



PatriciaW said...

I know you're looking for favorite posts for the contest, but just wanted to let you know all the little grammar and sentence structure tidbits are much appreciated.

Taylor Mathews said...

Seriously, every post sends me back to my manuscripts. Thanks again for the awesome advice.

Edittorrent said...

Glad these little tips help!


Wes said...

Great tip and nice fix.

Wes said...

Speaking of the roar of the crowd, I saw INVICTUS (OK, that's a stretch). I thought it was a great flick and Morgan Freeman should be a lock for an Oscar. However what struck me was the powerful use of tertiary characters to tell the story. The conflict between the white and black body guards was effective in showing the division in the country, obstacles, challenges, and partial reconciliation. Comments?

Edittorrent said...

I haven't seen it, but a similar technique was used in the HBO series Rome. Season one is more or less about the rise and fall of Julius Caeser, and the two centurions, Titus Pullo and Lucius Verenus, are used as human representations of the broader conflicts. Like Caesar and his co-ruler, Titus and Lucius are bound together but not in sympathy. Their respective positions shift, and those shifts affect each other's positions. As the battle between Caesar and the other guy progresses, Titus and Lucius get caught up in it in different ways. Through them we see another angle on the main conflict, but their subplot is richer than a mere reflection of the main plot. It's an effective technique in a complex story.

Maybe Alicia saw Invictus. She gets to the movies more frequently than I do.


Anonymous said...

I recently discovered your blog (yay!), and I've been bookmarking your posts like crazy ever since. Yours is the kind of advice I need to make my prose sing--as well as trim the fat from my MS. Simply awesome stuff here, all around, ladies. Thank you, and please keep it up!

Also, congrats on your two year anniversary yesterday!! May you have many more. :D

Unknown said...

*light goes on*

Huh. I had never considered that. And wow, it's come in handy already.

Thanks (-:

Anonymous said...

Super tip! It's an easy one to search through the MS and fix up.

I know every search I do, whilst not a significant change to the MS, will tighten a paragraph. And all the tips added to together will tighten my MS. Thanks again :)

Riley Murphy said...

This is awesome!
Thanks Theresa!

em said...

I'm on find and destroy! Good tip. Thanks!

Bernita said...

A mistake I probably commit.
Thank you.