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Sloppy Writing 101.41

December 7, 2012 by Suzi

Tighten, tighten, tighten your writing. So I’m trying. Another word I looked at in The Proper Way to Say Goodbye is together. Here are a few examples where I deleted the unnecessary ones.
-When I stepped back, our elbows brushed together causing my face to flush. (Hmm, well brushing implies that they touched.)
-I clenched my teeth together. (As opposed to clenching them apart. :) )
-She clapped her hands together. (Again, can you clap your hands apart?)
-I’d get over my anxiety of seeing a girl, and we’d be sitting in her trendy apartment sipping wine together. (Well yeah, they’re both in the apartment, so they’re together.)
-He matched my pace, and we jogged together a short distance in silence. (Again, they jogging side by side, which would imply together.)
I just didn’t need the togethers in the above sentences. And I saw no reason to keep them in for the voice. So they are… gone!
Anybody else have togetherness problems?


  1. Chloe Banks says:

    That third one is a really good example because there’s another way to tighten your writing too. Some editors get really snarky about sentences like “She clapped her hands together” because not only do you not need “together”, but you don’t even need “her hands” – what else would she be clapping? Ditto, sentences like “he stamped his feet”.

    I haven’t thought about my use of “together” – but I’m going to check now!

  2. I don’t think I’m guilty of overusing”together,” but you’ve made me more aware of the word.

  3. Dana says:

    I need to check for this. Thanks!

  4. Morgan Shamy says:

    I think it’s funny how we all have our “Things.” And I love tightening writing… it’s one of my favorite parts about writing!

  5. Good call! “Together” is not one I would immediately think of as unnecessary, but you’re right — in this context it really is. Isn’t revision wonderful? :)

  6. Emily R King says:

    Ha! My characters get “together” a lot. Glad I’m not the only one with a togetherness habit!

  7. I’m not sure. I don’t think so, but I’d have to do a search. I know there are other words that crop up more, though. (like though.)

  8. tanya reimer says:

    Lol. Yes great examples!!!

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