Take Three…

Ensure you do not have an unnecessary definite article (the).

“The” may be unnecessary in this sentence. Consider removing it.

The only definite article in English is “the” (“a” and “an” are indefinite). A definite article is required when referring a specific noun. If the noun is general, an indefinite article – or possibly no article – may be used. Verbs do not require articles.

Incorrect: Use the small lamp when the reading books.
The first “the” is correct because it is required to specify which lamp should be used. The second “the”, before the verb, is unnecessary and should be removed.

Correct: Use the small lamp when reading books.
Incorrect: A child is riding a bicycle; the child is wearing the helmet.
The first “the” is correct because “child” has already been mentioned; we know the writer is talking specifically about the child who is riding a bicycle. The second “the” should be replaced by an indefinite article (“a”) because we don’t know which helmet the child is wearing.

N.B.
Sometimes the article will change the meaning of the sentence. For instance, if I wrote “I need to buy a new pen for the school”, it might imply that I have broken one of the school’s pens and need to replace it. However, if I am buying it for myself to use in school, “the” should be removed from the sentence.

‘ pid=”425721″ replacements=”vampires” sentence=”Some of the vampires in the story could transform into animals.” shortdescription=’

“The” may be unnecessary in this sentence. Consider removing it.

Incorrect: Use the small lamp when the reading books.
Correct: Use the small lamp when reading books.

‘>vampires in the story could transform into animals. This inspired me to write a novel about a young shape-shifter on a quest. I called it Ravyn’s Quest. I began typing the story on my tiny Mac Classic. I actually made 3/4 of the way through the manuscript before I realized I didn’t know how the story would end. I sent my character on this treacherous journey only to realize I didn’t know what she was going to do when she got to where she was going. I always thought in the back of my mind, some day I’ll finish it.

And I did take it back out last year. I started over, from the very beginning. This time I’d make sure there were actually characters in the book and that her quest actually had a purpose to it. I thought I liked what I had, but then about 8000 words in, I got stuck. Bogged down by the research of it all. And what did I do? I put it away again. For another year!

In the mean time, I took some much needed time to educate myself at read, read, read. One very helpful book has been off the dust and read through it. I deleted the entire preface and half of the word count, so essentially I started over — AGAIN!


I’m loving it now. It’ll take plenty of encouragement, nourishment, love, and dark chocolate, but this time, I think I’ll make it to the end. I’ve found what’s most important — Ravyn’s voice. (And it sure helps that she has a supporting cast now)

What are your current works in progress?