March 20, 2012

A Popular Author’s Love Affair With the Word ‘AND’: Part A





     While staying at my late brother-in-law’s home in March, 2012, I picked up a hard-back novel written by a very popular author. By the time I read half of the first chapter I was ready to toss the book aside. Her apparent love of the word and was very distracting.

     However, I decided to continue reading the novel. By the end of the first chapter I decided to list some of the sentences to present to the Beanery Writers Group for critique.

     Many of the sentences began with the word and. I soon quit typing these sentences into the computer. I continued to type in many of the other sentences, quitting only when I reached twenty-five.

     The first quarter of the novel was maddening due to the author’s use of the word and.   The second and third quarters improved, but the author slipped back into the unbearable use of the word in the fourth quarter.

     What surprised me was that this author is very well known—she has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with over 400 million copies of her novels sold…many are international, according to the blurb on the book’s paper jacket. It is her forty-seventh bestselling novel, published in 1999 by Delacorte Press, a registered trademark of Random House.

     Below are ten of the sentences I copied from the book. I will post the name of the author and the title of the book in another post, along with my edits of the sentences.

     I challenge writers reading this post to edit these sentences before clicking onto A POPULAR AUTHOR’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE WORD ‘AND’: Part B (link at end of this post).

  1. And over the distant wail of police cars approaching the scene, there was another round of gunshots, and this time one of the young men fell to the ground, bleeding from his shoulder, at the same time one of his companions wheeled and shot a police officer cleanly through the head, and suddenly a little girl screamed and fell to the ground in the fierce spray from the hydrant, and everyone nearby was shouting and running in all directions, as her mother ran to her from the doorway where she’d been watching in horror, as the child fell.
  2. And in the ambulance, as it sped downtown, Henrietta Washington clung to her child’s had, and watched in silent terror as the paramedics fought for her life.
  3. Neither of them had finished high school, and they lived in a war zone. And the life they led, and where they lived it, was a death sentence for their children.
  4.  They stayed in bed until noon on Saturday, and slept off and on, and when they got up, it was raining, and they decided to go to the movies.
  5. He overlooked entirely the enormous influx of money and opportunities that selling stock would bring them. And more than anything, Charlie saw Meredith as the source of all their potential future problems. And he was unrelentingly angry at her for it.
  6. And eventually she turned out the light, put her papers away, closed her eyes and the next thing she knew they were landing at Kennedy and it was six o’clock in the morning. And just as Steven had predicted, she took a cab home, showered and changed, and by eight-thirty, she was at her desk, in her office, writing up her notes with Callen Dow, and working with the lawyers to put the finishing touches on the prospectus.  
  7. And she didn’t hear from him again after that until late Sunday morning. And by then, he sounded exhausted.
  8. They had several hours to kill, and didn’t have to leave for the airport till eight-thirty.
  9. And at five o’clock sharp, Dr. Steven Whitman exploded into the operating room, and was rapidly filled in by the resident who’d been in charge until he arrived.
  10. “I’ll come by ten fifteen to be on the safe side. And thanks again for tonight…you were really great,” he said with a warm smile, and a minute later she drove off with a wave, and he was at her apartment building at ten fifteen the next morning, wearing khaki pants, a navy turtleneck, and a blazer, and as usual, he looked very handsome.




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  1. Very “and-noying”.

    Comment by Cynthia Lipsius — March 26, 2012 @ 8:21 am | Reply

  2. Clever, Cynthia. Carolyn

    Comment by carolyncholland — March 26, 2012 @ 10:38 am | Reply

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