1. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    502

    Jennifer, Jessie, She and He... Third person question.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by JJ_Maxx, Nov 16, 2012.

    So I'm working on a short story, and it's in the third person. There's only two characters and lots of dialogue and I'm having difficulty knowing where to put dialogue tags with names, tags with he/she or no tags at all.

    I made it easier on myself by making my only two characters boy and girl, so you know who 'she' is and you know who 'he' is.

    Here is an example of my writing (Completely made up here.):

    Now maybe it's just me, but I use a lot of 'he', 'she', 'her', 'him, 'Jennifer' and 'Jessie'. Are these noticable to the reader? Am I just noticing because I have to decide which term to use every time?

    Thoughts?

    ~ J. J.
     
  2. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,829
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    This crops up a lot in first drafts - I tend to use a lot of he's, she's and what not in my first
    and even my 2nd draft - but then when I tighten up the scene - I can ditch some of them.
    If it feels like too much - just go over the scene and maybe see where you can ditch a couple
    without clouding who's doing what, or who's saying what.

    Jennifer walked across the hall to confront Jessie but found the room empty.

    "Jessie! Where are you?" She yelled, stomping down the hall in search of her brother. She found him hiding under the kitchen table and bent over to sneer, "I found you, you little creep, now where is my diary?"

    Jessie shrunk as far back into the corner as he could. "I didn't take your stupid diary, now leave me alone!"

    "I know it was you, now where did you hide it!"

    "It wasn't me, I want mom." Jennifer tried to grab him, which made him scream louder. "Mom!"
     
  3. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    502
    Thanks Peach!

    I guess I'll have to go through and do some pruning after my first draft is done. (Almost done, got the Rising Action and Climax done, just need the Resolution.) I probably have a TON of unneccesary tags. (Eek!)
     
  4. DanesDarkLand
    Offline

    DanesDarkLand Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    You can also eliminate some things by the way you describe them. An example would be to simplify the description.

    Instead of the above, you can use something like this - "Jessie! Where are you?" Jennifer stomped down the hall and into the kitchen. He was under the table. "I found you, you little creep! Where is my diary?"

    Some of the action is inferred, and thus reduces the amount of she's, he's, and her's. With her stomping down the hall, you can almost assume its in anger, and the fact that he's under the table infers that he's hiding. Her tone in the second sentence also seems to suggest a bit more then just normal anger.

    Hope it helps.
     

Share This Page