But I WAS There!

But I WAS There!


Patti Shene

Did you ever think about the word “was” and what a silly little word it is? It’s only three letters, and backwards it spells another word. Was is a necessary word, but if used too much in a story, it becomes annoying!

Suppose you are telling a story about a parade in your town. You want to describe everything you saw (backwards is WAS) while you were there.

“I was at the parade on Saturday morning. It was a lot of fun. My brother Nicky was in the band and he was playing the big bass drum. Next, a little car was driving by with a clown who was much too big to fit in the car. It was so funny to see him. A cowboy was riding a big black horse, but the horse was scared of all the people, so he was prancing around all over the street.”

Is that paragraph a little boring? How can we change it around to make it more interesting? Let’s see if we can saw away at some of the “was” words.

“I went to the parade Saturday morning. I sure had fun! My brother Nicky played the big bass drum in the band. Next, a little car drove by with a clown. His body was much too big to fit in the car. He looked so funny. A cowboy rode a big black horse. When the horse saw all the people, it got scared and started prancing all over the street.”

Do you sense more action in the revised paragraph? You will notice there is still one “was” in the second paragraph, but we got rid of eight of those annoying little words. Replace “was” with action words when you can.

Use the “find” feature on your computer when you finish writing a story, then count the number of times you find the word “was.” It may surprise you. Next, get out your saw and cut those “was” words out of your sentences. Your story will sound much better.

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