Seems like now a days everyone in the Writing Community lives in Conjunction Junction. Meanwhile, here I am in Proper Prose Place.
You’re probably wondering why I’m bringing this up. Trust me when I tell you that there is a indubitable reason.
Within Conjunction Junction is a thriving community which started out small but is now the biggest place in the city. It’s called And-a-topia!
Dear Follower …
As some of you might already know, I do lots of reading. Due to that, I’ve seen many new trends in the writing community and I have got to admit that the one that rubs me the wrong way most of all is the excessive use of conjunctions unnecessarily.
I’d like to present you all with exhibits A – C.
Now, you might think that I’m being nit picky here. Believe me, I’m not. Let’s do the math, shall we?
Imagine estimating (as per Exhibit A) that every page in this book has anywhere between 10 & 13 “Ands”. Now, let’s say that the book is 300 pages long. We are looking at a total sum of 3,900 “Ands”. On a 60,000 word book that about is about 1.5% of the book covered in just one word. When it comes to writing, that’s not a small number.
Hold on …
Having a moment of remembrance.
One time I read a book that had the word “And” show up in 1 sentence 7 times!!!
I was like …
Let me tell you a little bit about Conjunction Junction and And-a-topia, these are not places I want to be. Why? Because I don’t want to walk down the street and have a bite to eat and take a look at the car and see the cat cross the street and watch a kite fly by and eat a lollipop and go shine my boots and … well, I think you catch the drift.
Why can’t we just all get along? Why can’t we do things “then” as opposed to “and“?
As per Proper Prose Place here is the correct meaning of “Conjunctions”:
A word used to connect clauses or sentences or to coordinate words in the same clause (e.g., and, but, if).
Little Joey had a cap and ball.
This is to say that Little Joey had BOTH a cap and ball.
So why is it that in some writers’ works people are sitting and standing at the same time? Or better, grabbing something and letting it go at the same time. In my mind the word “and” means to do something together/simultaneously.
How can I grab his hand and let it go at the same time?
First you grab someone’s hand, THEN you let it go!
Needless to say, that I’m a little peeved at the continuous use of the word “and” for everything. It’s a pandemic … no wait, it’s an “AND-DEMIC“!!
So I’ve decided to give whoever reads this a little lesson on Conjunction Usage.
Here we go …
One of the problems is that the repetitious use of conjunctions will cause excessive emphasis on unimportant objects, places, and things. This in turn causes curiosity on the insignificant things leaving the reader wanting to know more about it.
The aim is to get the reader invested in the essential aspects of the story. If they become too interested in the other details then they will lose interest in the story altogether because it will ultimately become too confusing for them.
Here is what I mean …
Bonny Sue is telling a story about apples. Suddenly, in the midst of telling her reader about the apples, she becomes more engulfed in giving the reader the details of the field in which the apples were planted. Yet, the aim of the story is to tell the reader what the best apples are for making Apple Pie.
However, if Bonny Sue, starts telling the reader about the field, and the orange trees in the grove next to the apple field, and the immigrants that came to farm, and the soil of the oranges trees, what happens?
That’s right, the story has veered off subject causing the reader to now want to know more about the immigrant, the soil, the orange grove, and so on.
Yet, if Bonny Sue, simply skims over the hard working immigrant, and the orange field next to the apple field without giving too much away, then reverting back to the initial subject of the story, she will keep their interest. Moreover, she will have stayed on track with the progression of her story.
Here is the key:
The key is that the word “and” imply inclusion. So if the implication of inclusion is being made, then the reader is led to believe that those things included are of importance.
The moral of the story:
Stay away from Conjunction Junction as well as And-a-topia before you find yourself not writing and not selling and not reaching readers and not getting good reviews and …. well, you know what I mean.