Today’s watchword: was

I’m editing a short story and as I go through it, the word “was” appears, a lot. Too much really. It looks lazy when I’m sure, in most cases, there’s a better verb lurking in my vocabulary.

It’s a weakness of mine to use it often. “Was” is one of those words that I fire out in the midst of writing without thinking whether there may be a more descriptive or evocative verb. Something so simple as “the room measured twenty feet by forty feet” instead of, “the room was twenty feet by forty feet.” Maybe not the most exciting sentence, but if it’s the third one containing “was” then I think it’s an improvement to replace it.

Back to the “was” hunt.

2 thoughts on “Today’s watchword: was”

  1. Was-nesses

    Consider your was-ness first-drafit-itis. Lick it when you see it, but you can always tackle it again with a spellcheck during rewrite — just so long as you don’t get to the point of distraction (that doesn’t get you anywhere).

    Back to my kleenex and O.J.

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