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 forrest-landry.blogspot.com, 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!