Say You Say Me

by Ashlynmathews on November 23, 2012

As an author, I’m in love with my characters. So much so, I use their names and pronouns too much. This has been pointed out to me by my editor. And reading through my previous books, I clearly see her point. What to do?

Currently, I’m taking a much needed break from writing. Believe me, it’s hard. The characters in my head want their stories told. In all, there are five story ideas floating in my overactive imagination. To combat my overuse of pronouns, I began to reread my favorite authors’ books only to realize they’ve done the same things I’ve done. And, they break all the rules we as writers are told not to break. Fifty Shades of Grey anyone? Pronouns, adjectives, gerunds abound in these books.

For a moment, play “Back when . . .” with me. Back when I was a reader and not a writer, I was never bothered by the overabundance of pronouns (sometimes sentence after sentence), adjectives (I actually love them), and gerunds (who cares if the heroine can’t possibly stumble and sit at the same time?) because the story being told was more important than the parts that created the sum of the story. Feel free to disagree. Maybe you’ve read a great book that had few of the above. I’d love to read and compare.

So what is the point of my post? As writers, we can ignore, break or bend the rules, but we better have a great story to tell. I believe I have stories to tell. They might not be the greatest. After all, everyone’s reading taste is different. For my next stories, I plan on breaking the rules by using pronouns, adjectives and gerunds but still keeping in mind to vary my sentences. We’ve learned to use short sentences for action, long sentences to slow the pace, to up the sexual tension, to draw out a mood and reel in our readers. Sentence variation, beats, and how it sounds when read aloud is important.

As a new author, I interpret my editor’s comment as an opportunity for growth in my writing. What will you do or focus on to improve your craft?

Song of the week: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals “Stars”

To celebrate the release of my novella, If Only, about an awkward woman who falls in love with her hunky crush from high school, quote of the week is: “I don’t need to flirt. I will seduce you with my awkwardness.” Demilica24.Tumblr.com

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara Mills November 24, 2012 at 8:35 am

I know exactly what you’re saying. I’ll even allow writers I like to get away with things I really can’t stand coming from anyone else. We do make allowances. We can easily overlook some things if we’re swept along by the story. Then again, if a story trudges along and we’re faced with unnatural dialogue or inconsistencies, we’re on it immediately. I’m particularly hard on immaturity and juvenile actions coming from heroines. It drives me nuts to see supposedly bright women so stubborn they act against their own best interests out of spite. Stupid and childish. I like your little quote at the end. Cute.

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Ashlynmathews November 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm

I don’t like immature and whiny heroines either. I think there’s enough of that on reality television, lol, that it becomes an instant DNR for me in books. Or, if I like the story and the hero, I’ll trudge on through too and see if the heroine will grow up. Thanks Tara for stopping by!

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