Sloppy Writing 101.06

Sloppy Writing 101.06 Getting rid of my buts

I’m editing WHEN THE MIST CLEARS, and I recently went through looking to make sure I have a comma with my coordinating conjunctions. And, but, for, nor, or, so, yet.  I don’t use too many nor, for, or yet, but I have lots of but, and and so. And I forget to get that comma in especially with the and.


He holds the phone behind my shoulder, and the bright light fills the car. (comma needed)

Will you mow the lawn and shovel the sidewalks? (no comma needed)

Honestly, I’m not sure if the rules are changing or if different people have different rules. I’m reading a book now, and often times the author doesn’t use a comma where I think she should. So is this a stylistic issue? I don’t know, but to be on the safe side, I’ll put commas in where I think they’re supposed to be.

Since I’m doing a find/replace, I can see every spot that has an and or but… and change it if necessary. One thing I started to notice was that I had an awful lot of sentences starting with But. I did a search and found 200. That means I started 200 sentences with But. Now my mc likes to make excuses for her actions, but that’s a bit too many.

I’ve cut it down to about half, and I’m sure I can get it down even further. On my search of And, I only found 123, which I can cut down too.

Little by little, I’m tightening up my ms—getting rid of unnecessary words.

I’m also looking for places where I can get rid of this conjunction. Here’s my original sentence: I lean over the seat, so I can see better.

I can write it as: I lean over the seat to see better. Two words deleted and much cleaner.

So there’s a ton more words to add to my list. Be on the look out for and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet. Make sure you get your commas right and don’t overuse them as I do.