That I needed to stop writing that so much was the first thing that I learned when I got my first newspaper job. My kind editor gently said, “nice story, but I think it would be better if we leave out most of those thats.”
That was all it took to teach me! That was many years ago; now I stomp ruthlessly through my writing slashing away thats whenever possible.
He, of course, edited me and when I looked back at my unedited version I was mortified. It was so clunky and distracting. Why had I not learned previously to usually leave out “that.”?
College English instructors with their merciless red or blue markers had almost made me unable to write — but even the hardest instructor had never told me that I used that repeatedly when it was unnecessary and junked up my message.
This tip is of real value to new writers.