Tags:
  1. architectus
    Offline

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca

    Noun Pronoun problems

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by architectus, Mar 13, 2009.

    Something has been bothering me while writing my novel Agija of Agukas. I don't like using a character's name too often, or more than once in a paragraph, and especially not more than once in a sentence. But it seems like if I use pronouns it gets confusing. Here is an example.

    After they had left Jod’s, Bharita pulled the large hood over his head, exited the shadows of the alley, and entered the busy sidewalk. A busy Gorn pushed by and bumped into him, but he paid it no attention.

    Bharita has to be in the first sentence because it is the beginning of a scene. Isn't the pronoun he in the last part of the sentence confusing? Do I have to change it to Bharita? But Bharita paid it no attention.

    Or would it be better as, but he paid the Gorn no attention. Then I am repeating nouns a lot. Is there an easy way around this sort of thing? I run into it a lot.

    Thanks, in advance.

     
  2. Cheeno
    Offline

    Cheeno Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Ireland
    Personally, I think you're looking at it the wrong way. In my opinion, you could easily condense your writing to the extent the problem doesn't come up. I don't want to 'tell' you how to write, but here's an example you might find helpful...After leaving Jod’s, Bharita pulled the large hood over his head and entered the busy sidewalk, ignoring a Gorn who bumped into him. - In my own writing, I now find it so much more productive and satisfying to keep to the essentials of what I'm trying to say, and when it comes to the over use of nouns and pronouns, I've found that taking time to reconsider the direction and structure of the sentence adds texture and variety to my writing. Good luck with your work.
     
  3. architectus
    Offline

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca
    Thanks, that could work.
    After having left Jod's, Bharita pulled the large hood over his head, exited the shadows of the alley, and entered the busy street. He ignored a Gorn who bumped into him.
    I think the first part has to be in the perfect past because it is something that happened prior to the rest of the actions. I like your idea as well, and minimalist writing works most of the time, but I really wanted to convey the leaving the shadows and entering the busy street, which is the opposite of the quiet, dark alley. But you did help me a lot, thank you.
     
  4. Ghosts in Latin
    Offline

    Ghosts in Latin Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    2
    In all actuality, I much preferred your original sentence than the revised one, and saw absolutely nothing wrong with the use of pronouns.

    I think the pair of sentences should remain unchanged. I've noticed that, sometimes, when I'm writing, I also think I'm using too many pronouns — but I've come to the conclusion that, that's just because I'm the one writing.

    Personally, I think the whole "minimalist writing" thing is pushed a bit too far. While Cheeno's sentence has nothing wrong with it, the timing that I percieve in between Bharita entering the busy street and the Gorn bumping into him is completely changed, and your revised sentence seems as if the Gorn bumping into him shouldn't have been mentioned.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. bluejt2000
    Offline

    bluejt2000 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    4
    I have no problem with your first example as far as nouns and pronouns go. The point is, does it make sense? For me it does, as the 'he' obviously refers to Bharita.

    However, your repetition of the word 'busy' did bother me, especially as both examples appear close together. I'd get rid of the second one.

    John
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Benska
    Offline

    Benska Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    I, too, have absolutely no problem with your original sentence; there is no other subject to which 'he' could be reffering to, as you didn't mention the gender of the Gorn(Which I assume is a race of some sort). Well, I didn't... until the 3rd or 4th time through. I think it's a typical case of read-it-so-many-times-it-sounds-funny syndrome. Just like if you say a word over and over, it will start sounding strange.

    Also, alot of sentences will sound somewhat off if you stop and read them word-by-word, rather than just basically scanning them and getting the sense of the of it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. architectus
    Offline

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca
    Thanks, everyone for responding. I think I will go with this.

    After they left Jod's, Bharita pulled the large hood over his head, exited the shadows of the alley, and entered the busy street. He ignored a Gorn who pushed through the crowd, bumping into him.
     
  8. g1ng3rsnap9ed
    Offline

    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    A small town called Pox...
    I don't find the original problem confusing at all. Not to say anything bad about the revised sentence, but imo your's was good enough to be left alone.
     
    1 person likes this.

Share This Page