I was reading recently about the use of the word "that." I'm quite fond of it and decided to do a search of my ms and see how many times I used it.
Is that a filler word? Like the word 'like'. You, like, you know, want to go, like, to the store, and you know, like you see this like hunky guy, you know, and you so drool on yourself.
English classes teach us really bad habits. I found that out the hard way--in business writing. Instructors would give us assignments to write a 500-word paper. What did we do? We wrote the longest, most complicated sentences we could imagine in order to hit that magical 500-word mark. All those extra words didn't make our point better, didn't make it easier to understand, and probably didn't make it any more fun to read.
Then we get into the real business world where we're told correspondence better not be longer than one page. Business people are busy and a lengthy letter is likely to be set aside. Theres an interesting article here with some suggestions for when the eliminate 'that'.
Does that happen in your writing? Have you developed bad habits and suffer from what we fondly call 'diarrhea of the mouth--you just run on and on and on'? Do you find yourself automatically padding your manuscript and then having to go back and do surgery on your baby?