It is a Cop Out

Oh, don’t tell me you can’t write an entire book without using it. It just means you are too lazy to define something. I hate it. Not that I think I am perfect, I just see it all over the place and want to scream. Is it just me?

Sure, we all remember the movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, where the Knights Who Say Ni hated to hear it. We probably all were it at some time. We even know who was the It Girl during certain eras. But that just means it was not a specific, pinned-down quality.

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I hope by now you know I am talking about the actual pronoun, it. Let’s whip up a few pretend sentences and see how we can rework them to be clearer and proper. The first example will be a very simple phrase used in a lot of plays and movies. “I can see it all now!” Of course, the speaker goes on to explain which all of it he or she can see. But try this instead. “I can imagine the result of our hard work and the rewards that will come our way!” Isn’t that better?

Okay, here’s an actual sentence from a story of my own. “She could get to like it here, she admitted.” This character has just arrived on an island with a man she is attracted to, met his very extended family, and asked for his help in rescuing her son from her estranged husband. I would rewrite that as “She could learn to like living on this beautiful island with these active people.” Then go on to say that first she had to rescue her son.

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NOT Information Tech

Here’s a simple sentence found in many stories. “It must be done.” I found myself confused over that in something I read recently. The characters were talking about men and drinks and weekend activities. I eventually figured out the “It” referred to the activity. “We must go hiking.” That’s clearer and holds just as much impact.

Let’s just ignore the fact that Stephen King, who is not only a great writer but excellent at sharing his knowledge on the craft of writing with aspiring writers, named a whole book It. The Horror. (See what I did there? I crack me up.)

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The other authors in the Bowman’s Inn Collective have asked me if I am going to start a Passive Voice Anonymous group. If so, I would be the first lifetime member to join. I don’t say I am perfect at it. D’oh! At writing, I mean. But the more aware I am of things to review, the tighter I can make my words.

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Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

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