1. Sevvie
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    Sevvie Member

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    Avoiding using He/she/name to start sentences

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Sevvie, Jul 30, 2011.

    I know that it is best to avoid using He/she/name as much as possible when starting sentences. I used to be in a bad habit of this, but have managed to get out of it.

    While doing that, I've used sentences like "Rising from the chair, she reached out to grab the man's wrist."

    That isn't an actual example of a sentence I've used in my writing, but it was one I thought up on the spot.

    While I don't use this sentence structure often, since I find other methods much better when writing, I do wonder if it is poor writing to resort to these sentences. It almost feels like I'm cheating my way out.

    I would love any input from you guys. :)

    (Also: Yay for my first post!)

    EDIT:
    I suppose I'll use some actual sentences from a story I'm working on ^^

    "Honestly she didn't have the faintest idea why she was there. Despite that, she tried to respond as well as she could manage with what little her knowledge provided."

    and

    "When she knelt to unpack her things, she looked over in time to see Lucy walk into her room."

    and

    "Still in shock, Evanee eyed the girl curiously, not quite believing what she felt."
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    All the actual examples you gave us are really good... The "rising, she..." examples can get pretty tiring, as much as the original thing you're trying to avoid. It's really best to keep it varied though... It's not like you can *never* use them. Just not constantly, and since you're aware of it, your writing is probably fine. :)
     
  3. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    You also have the option of "zhe"... which is my smartass answer, heh.

    But no, it is not poor writing to use those sentences. It is absolutely fine, and you should be commended for actually thinking about what you use too much of and what you can potentially replace it with. Pat yourself on the back in lieu of a medal.
     
  4. dlr2007
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    dlr2007 New Member

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    I don't have any useful advice, just wanted to chime in that I also find the he/she issue to be difficult. I always wrote stories in first person, and getting used to third person is tricky. Of course, using the character's name is an alternative to he/she, but I have a hard time knowing how frequently to use one person's name in a paragraph too. I'm not sure if there is really a set "rule"- it's probably more what just sounds right.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Mostly it doesn't come down to rearranging sentence by sentence, but to writing about more than just the character. The monotony comes not from the word repetition, but from tunnel vision.
     
  6. Sevvie
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    Well I certainly thank you all for your insight and opinions. They've been wonderful. :)

    And it's official... From now on, my story shall consist of zhe's! Hah! Just kidding, but I did think that was very funny. ^^

    Also, dlr2007, I find that my personal rule when using names writing is: "Only restate the name if someone or something else has been introduced that shares the he/she title that person uses."
    But I also have exceptions to that, wherever I feel that it makes the story flow better or sound better.
    Well--I'm not saying it's the right way, but it is the rule of thumb I use in my writing.
     

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