Rest In Peace ''However''

1000 Hours of Writing: Hours 100 - 120

People cherish various dates: their anniversary, the birthday of their child, the day they got their pet. For me it's April 14. On this date in 2014 I decided to write the very first prompt after a long time of no fiction. For whatever reason I decided to be ambitious, so I went for 100 prompts. In 2015 I had the last prompt scheduled for the 15th. After an accidental find in my dairy I realized that the 14th was better suited. Now I have plans to publish the first post prompts - prompts that aren't actually prompts but continue where the others ended - on this day.

This means that I should start to correct the first patch of prompts. No, biggie, if I start now I won't have any problems later. Sadly, this forced me to make a shocking, horrifying, life changing discovery! In the olde prompts my favourite word was "just." I used it all the time, allegedly. Every single time there was a "just" it sat on its high horse and laughed at me because I thought about using it. I had to devote my life to the ultimate destruction of the word "just." Just that this time my new favourite word is "however."

For training I decided that I won't use That Word once in this post.

I am even aware where my frequent usage comes from:This Word is a nicer way of saying "but" or so I have been told in school when I had write long and boring essays. I am aware that I use it in blog posts, articles, even in letters to friends. In those cases, I do everything in my power to wipe the smug smile out of its face.

However, Sadly I had never realized how frequently I use That Word while writing fiction. Most of the time I wouldn't even need to. Instead of writing "The Word I Mustn't Use, we could use a coupon we'll save some money." you could just write "If we use a coupon we'll save some money." Easy. And yet, my brain refuses to do this in the first draft. It wants this fancy word in there, thinking that it's going to make me sound wise and mature.

No, it doesn't! It makes you sound like a stuck-up brat, and you'll edit it out again a week later. Admittedly in a formal letter That Word sounds better than "but." And yet, in a story it is more important that you can read it easily.

Naturally you might disagree; but we're talking fanfiction here. Nobody wants the longest sentence in the history of writing staring back at them. Yes, we can spice it up with fluffy, and silly descriptions about a right cuff-link; heck you can even use the word pastry instead of cake because it sounds nice. This also counts for commercial fiction your readers only want to understand the sentence!

In the end, the goal is to sound nice and be readable after ten hours of work, and not to re-inventing the English language. This also means that you are going to use your favourite word from time to time ... however, that's not always bad.

Read more about my progress

Next week: I hate starting sentences with "so ..." and why I blame James May for this.

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