1. Garball
    Offline

    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,846
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Location:
    S'port, LA

    avoiding repetitive usage

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Garball, Apr 24, 2013.

    When narrating a story about your character from third person, what are some tips to avoid repetitive sentence structure or subject noun usage?

    e.g.
    Stan went to the market. He bought some eggs. Stan went down the other aisle. Then he looked at frozen pizza. Stan put the pizza back. He then dropped his pants and yelled, "According to my biological clock, it's twelve o'clock!"
    Stan was kicked out of the market. He then ran across the parking lot to a car that was not his and began to lick the brake debris from the inside of the rims. Stan's tongue turned black....blah, blah, blah.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. erebh
    Offline

    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,620
    Likes Received:
    467
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Stan went egg shopping but decided on pizza when he discovered the turkey union had pulled rank on chickens. Hens picketed but he squeezed through the barricade and headed for the pizza aisle but on reading the ingredients changed his mind, threw the box back in the freezer with a disgruntled vegitarian huff and dropped his pants at teh cash desk, "According to my biological clock, it's twelve hairs past my elbow!" Security weren't long escorting him out the back door where he ran across the car park to a car he didn't own and licked brake debris from around the wheels. With a blackened tongue and waiting ambulance Stan found himself restrained by male nurse in a French Maid's outfit tickling his fancies with a feather duster... "Ooh er Missus..."
     
  3. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Read well-written novels written in third person. Notice the variety of sentence structures the authors use.

    Also, don't make everything about Stan all the time. If he's buying eggs, write a sentence or two about the eggs, not about Stan. Something like this:

    Stan went to the market. The first item on his shopping list was eggs, but there was a wide variety of eggs available. Many different brands, each with a different sell-by date. Some, according to their labels, were organic, others came from free-range hens. Stan wondered what "free-range" meant. Would Jane care about that? She'd probably want the eggs that would last the longest, so Stan decided to shop by sell-by date. After checking dates for a few minutes, he finally selected a dozen. But wait - these were brown eggs. Who the hell eats brown eggs? Stan couldn't remember ever eating a brown egg - brown eggs were gross.

    Etc. etc. etc.
     
  4. Inquisitor Ehrenstein
    Offline

    Inquisitor Ehrenstein Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    6
    One thing to avoid are cliches. That means any group of words or expression.
     
  5. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Huh? I think you'd better look up "cliche" again, just to refresh your memory.
     
  6. TerraIncognita
    Offline

    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Texas
    I second this.
     

Share This Page