Unnecessary Words

I read this blog post on Shirley McLain’s blog. Words to Seek Destroy in Your Writing. She shares a lot of writing tips. I’m sharing this particular piece because during my editing I found that I use but, yet, however often and those words are really unnecessary.  I use those words in conversation. I use them when I write my blog post. I’m aware of it and make corrections accordingly. After reading Shirley McLain’s article, I found that I use another word that isn’t needed. THEN.


So, oh wait I don’t need to write “so”. I’m telling a story and as I write it should be clear that after this happens that happens. It’s not needed to go from one action to the next. Check out these sentences.


  1. I took the garbage out then went to the store.
  2. After I took the garbage out I went to the store.My First Edit


In my opinion, I think sentence B flows better.  What do you think? This is a quick fix. I’m using the ‘find’ feature to look for ‘then’ and edit.


Jackie over at To Breathe is to Write said on my post My First Editing  “editing is a good thing, but you need to quit it at some point and just put it out there.” She is absolutely right. I know Hidden Temptation will never be perfect. I want it to be, I would like to find all the errors.  I know I won’t. I can only hope that with my next projects I will use all the things I learned while completing and editing Hidden Temptation. Hoping my first draft will be more polished when I begin my first edit. A dollar and a dream is all it takes to win the lottery. It’s possible, right?


After publishing Pages of Pain and Whispers I Silently Heard I found errors.  I was distraught, I felt guilty or maybe it was shame for those who  purchased copies of my books  with  errors. A few weeks ago I edited both my books of poetry.  I know I can do this with Hidden Temptation when and if I find errors later. I would like to avoid that though. People will spend good money, I hope, for Hidden Temptation. I don’t want them to be disappointed.  I believe if I present a near perfect product people won’t mind spending on the next one.  I’m thinking it’s like going to a restaurant and getting food poisoning, you aren’t likely to go back. If you had a meal that was lip-smacking good you’ll go back without hesitation.


Following Jackie’s advice, I decided to give myself a target date March 30th, 2016 to release Hidden Temptation. I asked Dwight Garland the artist who created the cover for Whispers I Silently Heard to help me with the cover for Hidden Temptation. I’m giving him a deadline. I’m not paying him. His compensation is expanding his portfolio. So I can’t really rush someone who is doing me a favor.



Have you written a book?  How many edits did you personally do?


Visit next Tuesday I’m going to tell you about It is What it Was

Disclaimer:  I completed Hidden Temptation, my first completed novel and this blog is a humble attempt to create interest in its debut. I am not a professional and this is no way an educational guide.  I am merely sharing my writing experience, what I picked up reading other novels, and what I learned in the process of completing Hidden Temptation.

I hope my experience helps fellow writers create a higher quality of art. I do not presume that Hidden Temptation is perfect or of professional quality but I do believe it is close. Your opinions, thoughts, and feedback are most welcome. Please feel free to create an open thread and share thoughts, and opinions so that we can help each other grow as a community of writers.


11 thoughts on “Unnecessary Words

  1. “I took the garbage out then went to the store.”

    If this were a sentence of mine I’d use a comma to make it clear that I meant “then went out …” rather than “I took the garbage out then”, So it would read

    “I took the garbage out, then went to the store.”

    At present I am reading a book which is a compilation of all ten original books in the series. I soon came across several mistakes. A missed word, a misspelling. Mildly irritated, thought the publishers should take more care. But Iit won’t stop me from reading – and enjoying – it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the point when editing your own work you miss the mistakes. You know me, Ben, my eyes overlook so much. I know when I release Hidden Temptation I will probably find hundreds of mistakes. The fist sentence isn’t the one I would use. I’m looking to limit the use of then.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Roger Zelazny died in 1995, so whoever is trying to make a fast buck out of the grand compilation rather than paying homage should have done a better job. Shame on them.


  2. Good post, Kim and not just because you mention me. 😉
    There are lots of unnecessary words in a first and even second draft. I have a list of my own words in a notebook that I ‘search and destroy’. We all have them I think but we also get better with each book.

    I use ‘but’ a lot. ha!

    None of our work is perfect. Not even authors that have been writing for many years put out a completely perfect book. We can get as near perfect as we can and then just put it out there. The nice thing about self-publishing is…When you go back and correct your books you can re-publish and on Amazon I believe they will notify buyers that a new edition is out and they have the option of downloading it or not. So that’s nice.

    I will mark March 30th down and we’ll celebrate my friend….. 🙂


      1. Understandable, Kim. Don’t feel guilty, we have to rest if we must. Better than getting worse. If you noticed I took the week off. Too many dr appointments this week and it has worn me out.

        Liked by 1 person

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