Editing Rant: Dead Words

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Kill, kill the passive.

Especially the “dead” words. Words which when removed make no change in the meaning of the sentence. All they do is slow things down. The worst offender is “that”. 

“That” is a pronoun and sometimes has a purpose for being. But most times, no, nope, nada, zilch, deader than a doornail buried in a graveyard.

EDITING EXERCISE: For your present work-in-progress (WIP), search on the word “that” and highlight all instances. Read each sentence where the word appears with and without “that” included. Do you need it for meaning? For dialogue, natural speaking flow may require it, but elsewhere, unless actively used – kill, kill the passive and the dead words.

Previous Editing Rants and other posts on passivity include:

  1. May 5, 2016 – Other Cool Blogs: Magical Words April 29, 2016
  2. November 2017 – NOT TO BE