I know I’m not the only one who struggles with criminal abuse of sentence-starting ‘I’s’ in first person writing. I see articles plastered over agent/writer blogs and sites about de-victimizing the sad, overused pronoun.
But you know what? Third Person has it’s own pronoun pitfall…and it has been driving me insane in my writing lately. Can you guess what it is? the He/She conundrum. That’s what. Take a couple of recent paragraphs I wrote, for example:
“Have fun with that,” Clacher said. He chuckled when Morales muttered Spanish curse words in reply. He pulled his hat down over his eyes and walked into a steady spatter of fat rain drops. He smiled and straddled the bike.
If Dedos was holed up near Reserve, he knew just the man to root him out. It’d been too long since he’d given Addison Baker a call anyhow. Much too long.
It’s too clunky. He did this. He did that. He also did these things…
Of course, the problem isn’t a large one–because I’m aware of it and can actively combat it. But starting too many sentences with pronouns (I, She, He, It) can cause writing to lose its flow. As illustrated by my renegade paragraph above, if you’re not careful about using these pesky pronouns as sentence-openers, you may have a large list on your hands, rather than a well crafted novel.
Just some thoughts…