Tuesday, August 7, 2018

#TipfulTuesday: The "He" "She" Writer's Epidemic

I find sharing tips becomes easier when bringing an issue, I am currently muggling through to the table. Today's discussion: The "he" "she" writer's epidemic. 

Seriously, I have read through my current manuscript a zillion times. Had critique partners, a few grammarians give advice. Made those changes too. 

One of my last editing steps is an audio version. My word processing program has a computer voice I've named Ed. Bless his pea-pickin', lack of emotion boring voice. I take my eyes off the screen and listen to him read the story. Today I heard a problem. It was a sonic boom. Laughing and shushing splashed on my pages. He. He. He. She. She. She. There weren't that many when I read through the pages! I'm quite sure.

Chapter by chapter I listened. Stopped Ed from reading. Scrolled back and zeroed in on "he" and "she" words. Each time I thought, this can't be said any other way! But it could. When truly stuck, I walked away and started another task. Sure enough, a new way to write the sentence came to me.

Of course, not all "he" and "she" words need to be eliminated. Neither do all the character names. But many can and should be. The result is the same as the difference between Target clothes and a Gabbana garment.

"He's" and "she's" camouflage themselves in the text. They won't simply surface to the first word of a sentence. Listen to your story. Listen to a boring, lack of emotion computer voice read your story. Uncover these words with infrared, lemon juice, cryptography, whatever it takes. THEN create a new and rich sentence.

Will this take time? Yes!
Do you want your book to sell? 
Then it's worth it.

~Mary Vee

#TipfulTuesday #amwriting #editing #TheWritersAlleyBlog #NeverGiveUpStories @MaryVeeMysterySuspenseWriter 

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Mary Vee -  Mary Vee - Rock climbing, white-water rafting, and hiking top Mary’s list of ways to enjoy a day. She was homeless for a time, earned her MA in Counseling, and married an Air Force vet.  Mary has been a finalist in several writing contests and writes for her King.

Visit Mary at her websiteblog, and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter

Mary's new release, Daring to Live, is a new release on Amazon.


Terrie Todd said...

Could you give some examples, please?

Mary Vee Writer said...

To adequately answer your question, I will address the question in my next post which will be Tuesday, August 28. Thanks for asking, Terri.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Well, Terri, I was inspired to write on a different topic for today's post but remembered your question. Here is a sample from one of my older manuscripts with this issue:

She walked around his desk and neared his chair. The room suddenly seemed hot. He focused on her face and not the alluring dress she wore. He stood and walked, keeping the desk between them. His heart belonged to Samantha and he planned to marry her after she completed the internship. He’d never jeopardize their relationship. “She will be gone one week. And, as I said earlier, she is not your concern.” He walked to the door and opened it.

Here is the edited version. I cut "he" words the readers already know the first she belongs to Melissa so I left that:

She walked around his desk and neared his chair. The room suddenly seemed hot. Her alluring, form-fitting dress forced him to his feet and to the other side of the desk. His heart belonged to Samantha. They planned to marry after she completed her internship. “I’m in contact with her.” He’d never jeopardize their relationship. “She's on vacation for one week. And, as I said earlier, this is not your concern.” He walked to the door and opened it.

Does this help?