CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

March 22, 2012

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


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A POPULAR AUTHOR’S

LOVE AFFAIR

WITH THE WORD ‘AND’: Part B

Excerpt from A POPULAR AUTHOR’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE WORD ‘AND’: Part A (see link at end of this post):

          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…she 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…

     (I compiled) ten of the sentences…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…

     Before announcing the title and author of the book, I will state that I did enjoy the plot of the novel, and other than the author’s love affair with the word and it was very easy reading, which I needed while undergoing a stressful time.

     The title of the book is Irresistible Forces, written by Danielle Steele—her forty-seventh bestselling novel, published in 1999 by Delacorte Press, a registered trademark of Random House.

     And I, a yet unpublished novelist, daringly, boldly, edited the following ten sentences:

  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. 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. 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. In the ambulance, as it sped downtown, Henrietta Washington clung to her child’s had, watching 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. Neither of them had finished high school. They lived in a war zone. 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. They stayed in bed until noon on Saturday, sleeping off and on, and when they got up, it was raining, so 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. … 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.   79 words, 7 ands  Eventually she turned out the light, put her papers away, closed her eyes and the next thing she knew they were landing at Kennedy. It was six o’clock in the morning. Just as Steven had predicted, she took a cab home, showered and changed. 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.  74 words   3 ands
  7.   And she didn’t hear from him again after that until late Sunday morning. And by then, he sounded exhausted. She didn’t hear from him again after that until late Sunday morning. By then, he sounded exhausted. 
  8.   They had several hours to kill, and didn’t have to leave for the airport till eight-thirty. Having several hours to kill, they 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. At five o’clock sharp, Dr. Steven Whitman exploded into the operating room, where he 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. “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. A minute later she drove off with a wave. He was at her apartment building at ten fifteen the next morning, wearing khaki pants, a navy turtleneck, and a blazer. As usual, he looked very handsome.

(Click on https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/a-popular-authors-love-affair-with-the-word-and-part-a/ to read  A POPULAR AUTHOR’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE WORD ‘AND’: Part A.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~

ADDITIONAL READING:

Eavesdropping—the good and the bad of it

Journalism Rules and Professionalism: I had neither!

WHAT IS THE KEY INDICATOR TO YOUR WRITING SUCCESS?

DOES EXAGGERATING THE TRUTH CREATE GOOD STORIES?

MORALITY IN WRITING

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4 Comments »

  1. You seem to be leaning towards the “if it isn’t grammatically correct, it can’t be popular” theme!! Most writers write from the heart, or head, or wherever an idea comes from. I’ve been known to find my work edited and it suddenly isn’t anything I recognize, so perhaps for Danielle Steele, a well published author we should cut some slack. Most readers are reading for entertainment, whatever pleases the reader works!!

    Comment by Fran — March 26, 2012 @ 11:05 am | Reply

    • Only due to the extreme prevalence of the word and. It dramatically distracted from the entertainmnt value of the novel. It certainly didn’t please me. Carolyn

      Comment by carolyncholland — March 26, 2012 @ 11:28 am | Reply

  2. I’m with you, Carolyn! I’ve read Steele, but I don’t recall ever reading such messy writing. And yes, it’s messy! (To Fran: that’s how/when you might start a sentence with “and” — connected and/or explaining the previous comment. No, we don’t want to cut an author –most especially a famous or productive one “some slack.” Anyone who wants to write should also know a little more about grammar. I would hope that the reader would enjoy better structured sentences much more.) Do you remember, from the “olden” days when we had to diagram a sentence? Our English teachers would have fainted at these examples. [grin]

    Comment by Peg — March 26, 2012 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

  3. Consider the rebuke delivered. I have always understood when its proper to use “and” to start a sentence.

    Comment by Fran — March 27, 2012 @ 4:58 pm | Reply


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