Fixing the words

I wanted to do an exercise where I just wrote a paragraph. Not really thinking about the words or structure. Then I wanted to go back and tidy up the sentences.

Here’s the paragraph and then afterwards my corrections.

And so it came to pass that in a little dinner on Dover Street, during the lunch rush, on no distinguishably different day I met her. She happened to be wearing a green smock which had a large four leaf clover embroidered in the center of it. She said the oddest things and in the blink of an eye, she was gone. I couldn’t fathom what had just happened, much less describe it to anyone. She simply was there, and then wasn’t. I pondered it greatly over the next several hours, and in the end, I was certain of two things, she had been there, and I had been the only one who saw her. How this is possible I’ll can’t explain it but now know for certain that I am not imagining it. I can say this with all certainty because she dropped a book before she disappeared. I know she didn’t mean to drop it but nonetheless, there it was. Of course I went over and picked it up before anyone else had a chance to take it. After all, it was my ticket to meeting the woman who would end up saving the earth.

And so it came to pass that in a little dinner on Dover Street, during the lunch rush, on no distinguishably different day I met her.

On an indistinguishable day, at my little dinner on Dover Street, I met her.

See how the second one is the same but clean.

Now either one works, it’s author’s preference. But this example shows how you can have poetic language, or clean.

What are your thoughts?

2 thoughts on “Fixing the words

  1. Vivienne Leigh

    The question is: Do you necessarily want it to always be cleaner and more concise or can the flow of words, even superfluous ones, bring a nuance to a piece that can be missing when things are clean and cut short?

    I think that in the intro or hook it is best to be concise and draw the reader in but in your description of “her” I think more us best.

    Good luck with your future writing endeavors.


    1. Karl Pajak Writes Post author

      Precision and clarity bring the reader the ease of understanding without clutter. Words flowing unfettered as you suggest could be added to a story as a “dash” of color. To do more would drag the story down. Making it hard to read. I would only use sprinkles like this very sparingly.

      Thank you for your well wishes. I think of it fondly.



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