My Writers Circle

Writing => All the Write Questions => Topic started by: ma100 on May 10, 2013, 06:52:02 AM

Title: I hate them...
Post by: ma100 on May 10, 2013, 06:52:02 AM
Him/her She/he. Where have they all come from? How do I get rid of them? This is me with my hair sitting on the keyboard. Waaaa. :'( :'( :'(

You seem to get one thing finally right and another sneaky word intrudes.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: 2par on May 10, 2013, 08:11:26 AM
AAahhh, don't sweat it.  Just put in anything and eventually something will hit you just right and then you can go back and replace it.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: ma100 on May 10, 2013, 08:14:51 AM
I'm at the going back and replacing it stage. :'(
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: 2par on May 10, 2013, 08:38:14 AM
Well, spill the beans.  We won't think you're stupid.  We're charitable and always willing to be philanthropic.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: ma100 on May 10, 2013, 08:40:04 AM
I have, I've got too many of them. :-\
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: 2par on May 10, 2013, 08:44:30 AM
Go for a nice invigorating walk.  Get those endorphins jumping around. 
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: bri h on May 10, 2013, 08:44:39 AM
You already know what you got to do. So get busy. Ahem, page one. "He/She."  ;D
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: 2par on May 10, 2013, 08:45:17 AM
As for me, I'm going back to bed. 
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: junel on May 10, 2013, 10:29:19 AM
why don't you post a bit with a lot of he/she and members could offer their suggestions on how to reduce them?
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: Skip Slocum on May 10, 2013, 10:38:47 AM
Ma, let me ask you this -- in a quest to remove commas, the word, 'and' as well as any other sentence joining to include EM-dash, -- have you backed yourself into this situation.

I'm asking because I notices this same thing in a spot of my story where I had been editing.  ???
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: ma100 on May 10, 2013, 01:08:17 PM
I'm sure people are sick of my ghosties Junel. ;)

Skip, as seems to be a favourite of mine.

There is a lot of arguing going on. He did this, she did that etc. Dialogue seems to be the place.

I don't want to be forced into putting in waffle to spread them out which i have just got rid of. :o Row's to me, don't happen like that.

Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: Matt Walker on May 10, 2013, 03:54:38 PM
How many people are arguing? If it's only two then chances are you can cut almost all the tags because it'll be obvious which one says what.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: ma100 on May 10, 2013, 03:56:44 PM
It's not tags Matt, it's actions. He swiped... she clawed his face etc.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: Skip Slocum on May 10, 2013, 04:00:37 PM
Oh, okay, now I understand. This is the quick exchanges within a fight scene.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: junel on May 10, 2013, 04:12:04 PM
I'm sure people are sick of my ghosties Junel. ;)

And I'm sure you are too, I mean your woes with editing.

Just keep picturing that finish line! ;D

Good luck.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: 2par on May 10, 2013, 04:36:58 PM
A jab in the ribs. . .  a claw with the brightly colored nails. . . a swipe of the spiked shoe from her upraised arm. . .a kick in his arse. . .  a good hard smack on her arse. . .  They went at it like a pair of kittens, neither causing major damage......
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: ma100 on May 10, 2013, 04:59:05 PM

A jab in the ribs. . .  a claw with the brightly colored nails. . . a swipe of the spiked shoe from her upraised arm. . .a kick in his arse. . .  a good hard smack on her arse. . .  They went at it like a pair of kittens, neither causing major damage......

But don't you see, all your examples would have him/her/he or she in amongst it. And that's what I have got too much of.

This editing lark clears up one issue and creates two more. :'(
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: 2par on May 10, 2013, 05:07:33 PM
Yeah...it's almost impossible to avoid at least some of those.
Maybe have them call each other little pet names:  "sweetie pie". . . a jab in the ribs.
                                                                           "stud man" . . .  a stab with....etc.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: bri h on May 10, 2013, 05:13:38 PM
 ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: 2par on May 10, 2013, 05:22:21 PM
I may not always be very helpful, but I try.  Maybe my poor, ignorant tries will launch a spark that is all your own.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: bri h on May 10, 2013, 05:48:03 PM
I find you helpful. Stop putting yourself down. That's our job and so far we haven't had the chance, cos yer too nice.    :-* :)
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: ma100 on May 10, 2013, 05:56:59 PM
Yes you do try 2 par. :-*

It's like an avalanche effect. Add names or pet names, then you get into that hornets nest.  :o

Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: 2par on May 10, 2013, 05:58:05 PM
Nice?  Nah-ah.  But after seeing all I have on this site, and the talents of all you people, I am truly humbled.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: 510bhan on May 10, 2013, 06:04:41 PM
Ma -- you're over-thinking and stressing too much. You'll end up sanitising the darn thing to 'perfection' and taking the guts out of it, which will mean you'll have to go back to loosen it up so that it's a relaxed read for your audience. :-\
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: bri h on May 10, 2013, 06:27:39 PM
I really don't know how she found the time to write any of it, she spends that much time here, "organising, moaning and worrying." I bet she's got one of those 'Time-Spinner'-things off Harry Potter?
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: Skip Slocum on May 10, 2013, 06:34:53 PM
I think I understand what your saying Ma. I came across a portion of my story where all the He's stood out and just felt wrong by how often they were jumping off the page at me. But how to fix it, I have no idea.  ???

EDIT: and from what I can see it happens in narration.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: bri h on May 10, 2013, 06:38:54 PM
Didn't Wolfe or Phil touch on this at one point and say, sometimes He/She can't be avoided and you just use em as and when? Like they're not really bad guys?
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: Skip Slocum on May 10, 2013, 06:47:34 PM
Yes but when you see 12 he's in a single paragraph, that's a bit much.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: bri h on May 10, 2013, 06:53:49 PM
I don't think Ma would use 12 he/she's in a para, would she?
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: 510bhan on May 10, 2013, 06:55:25 PM
As loneg as they aren't all sentence openers they're fine. Add an action or position/time phrase to the front of some of them as a reasonable disguise.  ::)

EG Closer now, he smacked her face. She reeled back and kicked him as she fell. "You bastard, you'll be sorry for that." Any moment now, Fred knew the lamp would bounce off his head. A quick duck avoided the flying object Ma aimed at his head but it ricocheted off the wall and glanced his shoulder. Doubled over in pain, he cradled the weak arm while he looked for a weapon to retaliate. :-\ :-\ :-\
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: Skip Slocum on May 10, 2013, 06:58:31 PM
I'm listening.  ;D
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: junel on May 10, 2013, 06:58:52 PM
I have to agree with Sio, he, she, him, her aren't words that register much in the reader's mind anyway, they're just there, unless you have a ridiculous amount :-/
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: bri h on May 10, 2013, 07:32:38 PM
hmm shvon, I seem to be getting the tenses now. All of your examples were in the past tense as in "ed." So if you'd put an "ing" on any of them would that then have put them in the present tense? Or have I missed this boat as well?  ;D
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: Don on May 10, 2013, 08:32:52 PM
Ma, do you have a sample paragraph you'd care to post?
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: Matt Walker on May 11, 2013, 03:14:37 AM
I too think we need to see a paragraph, Ma - you probably are worrying for nothing. Using he/she dispersed with your character names like in Sio's example is fine.

And Bri, gerunds (verb forms ending in ing) are tense-less, which is why some writers don't like them. They are used correctly in both past and present tense.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: ma100 on May 11, 2013, 03:34:48 AM
They are pretty much like Sio's example, but it seemed choc a block with them in places.

When your in you Mc's head it's not so bad, but when he's doing stuff with another character.  :o

He saw sixteen cats attacking the large dog.
Sixteen cats attacked the large dog.

or

He felt pain shooting up his arm.
Pain shot up his arm.


'he saw' dumping it and adding ed instead of ing. But when your in action it's a nightmare because you end up with names galore or all these flippin' he/hers/she/him.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: Wolfe on May 11, 2013, 03:58:49 AM
Didn't Wolfe or Phil touch on this at one point and say, sometimes He/She can't be avoided and you just use em as and when? Like they're not really bad guys?

This is true, but certain word repetition can draw attention to itself that's not needed nor desired.

The way you can fix this is to replace the personal pronouns, he and she, with the direct object instead. You'll make the direct object into the subject. This can be tricky because it could make the object appear disconnected from the actual person, so use with care.

For example, instead of writing 'He slapped her', you could replace it with 'His hand reached out and slapped her.' Again, use with care because the action can read disembodied or separate from the actual character.

Another way you can fix this is to cycle the person's name with the pronoun. This is called the 1-2-1 Method. For example, Dave did this. He then did this. And then, Dave did this again.

This method cuts down the pronouns and makes clear who is doing what since it clarifies the actor to the action.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: ma100 on May 11, 2013, 04:08:08 AM
Doesn't the 1-2-1 method create another problem with so many names on the page? One day this writing lark will click in my head.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: Wolfe on May 11, 2013, 04:14:18 AM
Not at all. It actually clarifies who does what. But, I'll admit things can start to get sketchy if you have more than three characters on a page. It's a reason you want only two characters interacting at a time.

You'll see this a lot in entertainment.

For example, in Martin's Game of Thrones most of the dialogue or action may have many characters around, but only two take center stage in any given scene. This is deliberate because it removes any confusion.

Here's an example of four characters in the same scene, but only two interact with each other at any given moment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7w0WEia7i4

Again, this is deliberate and a savvy move on the writer's part.
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: ma100 on May 11, 2013, 04:22:35 AM
Thanks Wolfe. :-*
Title: Re: I hate them...
Post by: bri h on May 11, 2013, 05:19:57 AM
Me too, Thanks Wolfe. And thanks for the exp Ma.