Tuesday, May 3, 2011

But ... But ... But ...

Update: We'll have brand new queries to crit Wed and Thur.

Today, it's filler time!

A quick editing tip regarding an issue I've been noticing more lately. That probably means I've just now subconsciously noted it in my own writing, so am lashing out at everyone else about it. (Please tell me you do that too.)

I'd like to start by discussing the problem, but it's rather cold outside. I would launch right into the intimate details, but there's a robin singing outside my window. I really am quite annoyed when I see this error, but right now I'm just hungry.

I'm a conjunction junkie. I freely admit it. I lurve me some conjunctions. Most especially I lurve starting sentences with them -- it makes me feel quite wanton. But there are rules and expectations. Like when you use "but" or its step-sibling "however." These are not words to be cast, well, wantonly into your sentences just because you're desperate for transition. True, they provide transition, taking the reader from one thought to another; still, they should provide that transition fluidly and logically. The bits on either side of the "but" need to be connected in some way, and the "but" placed there to gently guide the reader from the way the world was or could have been to the way it is now or could be.

I could go on, but I think you get the point.

4 comments:

Orlando said...

Now there's an editing thought I never saw before. Learning never ends. Thanks for enlightening us on this editing issue.

Whirlochre said...

I definitely have big 'but' issues...

fairyhedgehog said...

But I wouldn't dream of it!

Phoenix Sullivan said...

My pleasure, Orlando.

Whirl and FHH: Just. Groan.