That Gnats

Female_black_fungus_gnatLike many authors, I’ve spent time, some might say an excessive or obsessive amount of time, studying what makes writing effective. One of the sources that I used to read religiously was the blogs of literary agents, as they were the gatekeepers and the masters of slush reading.

One such agent said that the first thing she looked for were “that gnats,” unnecessary use of the word “that” as a filler. You might have noticed that I’ve been purposefully leaving them in and marking them for emphasis.

I soon realized that I used that gnats almost constantly both in my written and everyday speech–maybe this is a midwestern thing, New Yorkers are just to busy to use an extra that here and there. So, I’ve slowly been training myself, especially in the editing process to find that gnats.

So, yesterday, I posted about my new book on Facebook, and as I was going through my feed today I found this in the blurb I had written:

Some people would say that Nick Baker has it all: the trust fund, the family connections, and the country club membership.

Oops.

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