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?

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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.

Dec 13, 2019
by: Anonymous

so, what if I'm using and as for description? Like for example, I'm writing a 3rd person story about a dinosaur, and I felt I needed to use and for descriptive writing. Please help

Dec 26, 2019
re: description
by: Glen

It should not make any difference whether you are writing description or not. Too many "ands" is still an affectation.

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