I have a pet hate when it comes to writing. It’s a three letter word that I find, quite frankly, rude. That word is: And.
Is there another word in the English language as demanding as ‘and?’ It is a question in its own right, forcing you to insert another phrase to form a full sentence, or the final item on a list. Maybe I don’t want to have a final item on my list you insolent little word. Maybe, just maybe, I would rather have two short, neat sentences than one long sentence made up of conjoined phrases.
My other issue with this little demon is laziness. It is far easier to describe something using two or three words connected with ‘and” then it is to find one that is all encompassing. For example, “He looked downhearted and wistful.” is a lot easier to write then getting off your bum to use a dictionary or thesaurus to find a word that means both.
So, just to annoy the bastard, I set myself a challenge. This week I used the word at the end of a phrase. I can’t even call it a sentence as it has no full stop; the line of text simply ends with that rude little word. What I found surprising was how well it worked! By ending the phrase with an open ‘and’ followed by a line of dialogue the pace shot up, along with the tension. I never thought that a pet hate (a silly one too, I freely admit) would lead to such a victory in atmospherics.
I was so jubilant that I almost forgave it its impertinence. Almost.