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Sloppy Writing 101.24

August 3, 2012 by Suzi

FYI: I have a winner of the gift certificate from the other day. The guess which story is mine in the Christa Desir Band Camp flash fiction contest. My entry was #7.
Lynne Schmidt
She actually did not get it right, but actually nobody did. So I drew names from the ones who guessed. Your chances of winning were very high because most people forgot to put a guess down when they were giving me advice on the Lucky 8 Ball. So congrats to Lynne. We’ll be in contact.

Behind is a word I’ve seen on those lists of words to avoid. I’ve never really gotten why it’s bad, so I did a search of The Proper Way to Say Goodbye to see how I used it. I found 23. Not a ton. so I’m obviously not overusing it.

But they say to make every word count, so why not get rid of a few that are unnecessary. Here are a few examples I found.

-The door slammed shut behind me.
-The door clicked shut behind us
-I shut the door behind me, glad to see his roommate wasn’t around.
-I closed my door behind Faye.
-Sasha kissed the cat on her head and scratched behind her ears.

You’ll notice that most of my behind problems involve doors. In all these cases, it’s clear before-hand that she is going out or in a door. So really, I don’t need to use the behind.

And the last one with the cat, scratching its ears is sufficient. I don’t need behind the ears.

Overall I didn’t get rid of a huge amount of words, but I cleaned it up a little. Anything helps, I guess.


  1. Kelley Lynn says:

    It’s all the little things that add up to a great manuscript. Have a fantastic weekend!!!

  2. Yay!! Free stuff!

    Also, I haven’t really paid any attention to that type of thing. That’s for pointing that out!

  3. That’s a great tip. I’ve never thought about deleting “behind” before, but I can see how it’s redundant. Thank you!

    And congratulations to Lynne, but aren’t you going to tell us which is yours? I’m so curious! 😀

  4. Congrats to Lynne.

    I need to pay more attention to “behind.” I wonder if I use it redundantly.

  5. Janeal Falor says:

    Never thought of behind before, but it’s easy to see how it may not be needed. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it. Thanks for mentioning it!

  6. Rachel Schieffelbein says:

    That’s definitely one I hadn’t thought about. Hmm, I’ll have to search that out in mine. I’m curious now. :)

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