12 Days of Christmas: Writing Tips Day 4

Day 4

 

Avoid Vague Words Like: It   This   Those   Things   Them   That

Quick Fix—Put in a “real” word if you can. Sometimes you can’t replace a vague term with a real word. Sometimes you need to use it or another vague term. But most of the time, you don’t.

Examples:

After that, it was all over.

After what? What was over? I’m lost, whether you’ve defined that and it in the last few sentences or not.

Once the family had four members, it was full.

In this example, the reader will assume it is the family. It could be the family unit, but it could also be what happens because the family has four members. See below.

Once the family had four members, the house was full.

**Once in a while, the meaning is clear, but defining the vague word makes the sentence stronger.

You couldn’t explain being ripped in two and being forced to walk around as half a person. “Claire’s gone. And talking won’t change that.”

You couldn’t explain being ripped in two and being forced to walk around as half a person. “Claire’s gone. And talking won’t bring her back.”

 

Christmas_Snowman-0755c878-1f61-34fb-9545-922eb6493ea8

When all twelve days have been posted, you can find them here–12 Days of Christmas: Writing Tips.

12 Days of Christmas: Writing Tips Day 3

12 Days of Christmas: Writing Tips Day 2

12 Days of Christmas: Writing Tips Day 1

For more tips, see Monday Writing Minute.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *