Say You Say Me

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┬ávary 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┬ásounds 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.”