1. Stevedunks
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    Stevedunks New Member

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    'He'

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Stevedunks, Feb 13, 2013.

    Hi, this is quite a general question, I can't be too specific. Basically, I've written the first part of my novel and it focuses entirely on the main character and the series of events which lead him into the plot. My problem is however, that literally 5% of my words are 'he'; is this too much repetition or is it acceptable?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say that, yes, it's excessive. It's so excessive that I'm wondering if the five percent (one out of twenty words?) is accurate - are you positive that whatever you used to analyze isn't also including the h and e in, say, "the" and "they" and "their" and so on?
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This question would be easier to answer if you posted a paragraph or so that you think is particularly bad in this regard. It's hard to know what you're talking about.

    There's a big difference between a passage like this: "He stood up. He walked to the bar. He poured himself a drink. He drank the drink. He set down the glass ...' Etc. etc. etc.

    and this: "He laughed. 'He he he he he he he he he he he.'"

    I'm only partly kidding. Show us what you're talking about so we can answer intelligently.
     
  4. Stevedunks
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    Stevedunks New Member

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    Yeah sure...

    He wanted to struggle – he tried to struggle – but his exhausted rejected it. He thought about letting go and being at peace but after all the lectures of not giving up, he couldn’t do it. The only thing he could do was wrestle with fate and hold his breath longer, and the longer he did this, the less he was dragged and the more he began to fall. Thank fuck. The falling sensation instilled him with hope and belief that there was an end to this devilish ride. Flickers of light started to creep through the redness and soon enough he could breathe; he began to fall with the hellish rain rather than in it. James did wonder one thing though. Where does the fall end? And that’s when he landed – with a heavy splash – in a blood filled plunge pool.

    This is a small passage from a dream, but I think it highlights my worry. I won't take any offense to criticism as this is my first draft.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Here's one way of doing it. I'm not saying this is actually good, but it cuts the number of "hes" from eleven to four:

    James wanted to struggle – tried to struggle – but exhaustion prevented that. It would be so easy to let go, to be at peace, but all the lectures about not giving up made it impossible. All he could do was wrestle with fate and hold his breath longer; he dragged less and began to fall. Thank fuck. The falling sensation instilled him with hope and belief that there was an end to this devilish ride. Flickers of light started to creep through the redness and soon enough he could breathe, beginning to fall with the hellish rain rather than in it. James did wonder one thing, though. Where does the fall end? And that’s when he landed, with a heavy splash, in a blood-filled plunge pool.
     
  6. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    minstrel's done a good job, I'll just add
    "All he could do was wrestle with fate and hold his breath longer" - "There was nothing else but to wrestle with fate and hold his breath longer" (or "All that remained was to wrestle with fate and hold his breath longer")
     

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