Using "and" too much?

by Jacob
(Fouke, Ar, USA)

Question: I am an inexperienced writer and at times I feel I am using "and" in my sentences way more than I should. My book I'm writing is all first person if that helps. When I type I keep it in the back of my mind when and how often I have used it but do I really need to? Is having "and" a normal thing?


BTW- Thanks for the help and I love this site! I recently found a question about fighting scenes and a book had been suggested there. Bought it and it is best thing I have done for my book. Thank you so much! I didn't know where else to post this. =)

Answer: I'm glad you've found this site useful.

If you think you're doing something too often, you probably are. Anything repeated frequently when it is not needed tends to be an affectation. The best writing makes every word count, so words that don't serve a purpose are best minimized.

It may be that you are using "and" in many cases to join two coordinate clauses, when you might just as easily make two separate sentences.

If that's the case, try simply taking out the "ands" and making separate sentences. Do this for perhaps one chapter. Then leave it for a day and read it again. If it flows well and makes sense, then consider making this a habit for the rest of the manuscript.

Naturally, there will be instances where using "and" works better. Don't try to eliminate every instance, just the ones that are unnecessary.

Comments for Using "and" too much?

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 11, 2014
I understand.
by: Jacob

I see what you mean. I don't think I have to many cause I am so cautious. I have trained myself, so to speak, to try to avoid it. Thank you for the advice.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.


 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook


NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles


"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards



"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero