And then along came Jones…

December 20, 2005 | It's All About Writing

Just a gigolo everywhere he’ll go is our very own Forrest Landry (check out his blog at, dry wit is his specialty) who has joined the That Whores and come out to admit he is an And Then Gigolo. So Forrest, today is dedicated to help you shake your habit or else it’s the 2×4 with spikes. What can I do? I teach these authors everything I know and they still know nothing!

And then along came Jones… Good line if you like the Coasters’ old song but in writing it’s a major no-no. And then is a filler and shows a lack of writing ability. If you want to be a published writer you must know your grammar.

Let’s look at an example;

Jeff stood, shoved back his chair, and then stomped from the restaurant.

It should read;

Jeff stood, shoved back his chair, and stomped from the restaurant.


Jeff stood, shoved back his chair, then stomped from the restaurant.

Either way works and is grammatically correct. By using and along with then your throwing in an unnecessary word which makes the sentence weak and unprofessional.

Here’s the thing, we all speak one way but must write another. We use all kinds of word combinations Webster would freak over. Hey, he’s dead so who cares? Your editor, dear author, the person you want to impress with your vast talent. Kick the habit and it will help you get published.

Back to the highlighters and yet another new color! Will the excitement never end?

Go through your manuscript marking every and then .

Re-read each sentence using and or then. You might be surprised to discover neither word is necessary as a comma may suffice.

Don’t lose heart. My first mss reminder me of kindergarten and the first finger painting class. I used every color in the spectrum and then some. I should have framed a few pages from that old mss. They would have served as a healthy reminder of how far I’ve come.

Tomorrow we’ll work on backstory and controlling it. Until then, Happy Writing!


Add A Comment

10 Responses to “And then along came Jones…”

  1. Jenna Howard Says:

    You can control a backstory? What you sniffing down there?

    See my stories start of simple easy. He has a gun. She doesn’t. And then they run into the villain who is so super-villainous that I adore him. And then they have wild monkey sex but not before or after a gunfight because that’s just wrong. And then there’s a problem with the relationship. And then the villain does something super-villainous that I’m all “You jerk that was just unacceptable. That…that…that was mean!” And then the hero gets all mad “I’m going to kill that (really long censor) before I can tell her I love her.” And then he rescues the heroine but she’s already done it by using her brains instead of her brain. But then the villain’s not done yet so he does something even more masterminded evil. And then there’s this looooong battle. And then they celebrate by wild monkey sex. And then the heroine’s all “You never say you love me.” And the hero’s all “I just killed the (really long censor) super villain for you. What more do you want?” And then the heroine storms off. And then the hero realizes he has nothing without the heroine. And then he chases her. And then they have some wild monkey sex. And then he tells her he loves her. And then they live happily ever after.

    *wipes a tear from eye* really makes you want to buy books don’t it?

    Wait. What was I talking about?

  2. Jenna Howard Says:

    Ahem – that would be using her brain instead of her brawn. Sigh.

  3. Sloane Says:

    I am going to kick your ass and flog you until you scream for mercy!

    Tomorrow you’ll see how to control a back story. It’s very simple so try to attend sober!

  4. Sherrill Quinn Says:

    I’m not even sure I can even follow with anything that remotely comes close to Jenna’s post…

    I don’t usually use very many ‘and thens’, thankfully. I’m still sore from the ‘that’ beating.

  5. Sloane Says:

    You two need a shrink or a life. I haven’t figured out which would be better but I will.

    I also think we need to do a little something on sarcasm and it’s painful effects.

  6. Jenna Howard Says:

    But…but…but you love us, Sloane!!!

    Face it…you were snorting into your coffee mug and then you probably read my brilliant blurb to Studly.

    And then you had wild monkey sex. Right? I’m that inspiring, you know.

  7. Jenna Howard Says:

    ps…flog me Sloane…flog me!

    pssst Sherrill get ready for tomorrow’s lesson.

  8. For The Trees Says:

    Thank You, Sloane. You make me wonder just where I left my head when I came in here and sat down at the keyboard.

    I use “and then” a LOT in my speech. Actually, I don’t SAY it, I THINK it, because I’m remarkably silent in person. (unless I’m manic, then you can’t shut me up.) So I do a lot of THINKING replies to people’s comments, and then I find myself using and then a lot in my and then thinking. And THEN the MONSTER showed up and THEN the heroine said, “You never tell me you love me, and then!” and THEN the hero accidentally pulls the trigger and then blows a .45 caliber hole through the center of his left foot, and THEN it’s all downhill to the spiked 2×4 you’re waving.

    Well, you don’t have to wave it anymore. I’m going back through with the famous “find” command, and just working my way to literary fantabulousity.

    Deepest thanks for the compliments and all the fish.

  9. Yasmine Says:

    Hot Monkey Sex, bad ass villian, hot heroine and hero, hot monkey sex. Your backstory is like the tv with the split screen, so you can watch two programs at once. I’m with you Sherill, can’t figure out how to respond to Jenna, except I am rolling on the floor laughing.

  10. Sloane Says:

    All right you maniacs! Forrest, using find is excellent. Do what Yasmine did, change all the ‘and then’ to capital FUCK THEN. It’s easier to see in your WIP.

    And the rest of you BEHAVE!!