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Born Linda Marie Cassells, my named changed over the years. I was called Miki in high school by close friends. My name was changed to Charity while a member of the Children of God in the 70's and then changed to Caridad, while living in Costa Rica. I began writing this Memoir In June 2010. I invite you to join me in the writing, editing, publishing and marketing journey.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

It Was

“It was”

It was a dark and stormy night. . .
It was mid-October and the autumn leaves were falling. . .
It was hard. . .
It was tough being a fat teenager. . .

How many times have you communicated a feeling, thought or event with “It was?”
I didn’t think much about those two little words until Sue Clark, my “Book Doctor,” started editing my manuscript -- Dear Mom and Dad, Please Send Money.
            “'Was’ is a form of the 'to be' verb, the weakest verb in the English language," she informed me.  "Verbs are action words.  As readers, we can see someone ‘jump.’  We can't see 'is' or 'was'.  I want you to find every 'It was' statement in your manuscript and change the sentence to convey the same meaning using an action verb.  By the way, you can't see an 'it,' either." 
           Thank God for the computer.  I clicked on the “Edit” option in MS Word and then clicked on “Find.”  In the “find what” screen I entered “It was,” and let the computer show me if I had one or two of those little It was’s.
            My trusty computer found over 500!   
            For the last few weeks I have, with painstaking care, searched for and changed hundreds of “It Was” words.  
            “It was October, 1973” became, “In October, 1973…”
            “It was an era of mixed-relationships. . .” became, “Mixed-relationships were common in the 1960, hippy era. . .”
            I haven’t changed them all, but I’m working on it.
Now, let’s fast forward to earlier this week. I sat, content, in my bedroom rocking chair reading the Bible, The New Living Translation. I turned to the Book of John, Chapter 10, enjoying the story of The Good Shepherd and His Sheep. “It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem,” Verse 22 said.
“It was?” Wow, somebody writes like me, I thought.
A few minutes later, the same two little words jumped out again, this time in Chapter 11, Verse 55: “It was now almost time for the Jewish Passover celebration. . .”
So, I asked myself, should I continue the It Was Search, Find, and Replace Exercise for my manuscript -- or should I sit back and say, “If it was is good enough for the Bible, it’s good enough for me?”
            What do you think? 

I am honored to be working with Sue Clark in the manuscript analysis process. Check her out at:  http://www.suejclark.com/index2.aspx

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps you need to be slow to get advice from so many people. Just you, your natural self is good because it comes from the heart; not the editorial desk.