Well, we all have to start at the beginning. No matter how talented we think we are, there is always room for improvement. It can be the smallest thing that could turn a reader off from reading your book. A misplaced comma, the use of nouns too many times, or the hum-drum of reading, he said and she said after every time a character speaks. That would drive me insane, so I know it will drive your readers insane if they see these simple, but reoccurring errors in your writing. No one is perfect, even though we would like to believe we are, so mistakes are going to happen, but if you follow this simple tip, you could possibly gain yourself a new reader. Now, I’m not proclaiming to be an expert on writing, not by a long shot, but this is an error that I have made in my own writing. I’m sharing with you tips that I have learned on my own journey to writing. I don’t want anyone to make the same mistakes I have, so I’m sharing things with you that can help improve your writing. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m flawed. LOL.
Become friendly with your pronouns. All too often, we continuously use nouns instead of inserting a pronoun. Using a pronoun will not take away from your writing one bit. If anything, it will help smooth it out. This was something I had to mentally repeat to myself constantly every time I got ready to write something new. When I would go back to read my own work, I would shake my head and ask myself, why did you have to repeat your character’s name so many times? I even decided to test myself and see exactly how many times I had written a particular character’s name. To my horror, I had written it two-hundred times. Wow! But that wasn’t the shocker, I had written this particular character’s name two-hundred times, but there was no telling how many times I had written any of the other character’s names. The kicker was, I was in the process of writing a short story.
Using a pronoun instead of the noun can help to enhance your writing. What seems like such a simple mistake could potentially lose a reader, if it is not addressed properly. For instance, read the following examples below, and tell me what’s wrong with them.
Example 1: Joseph loved to cruise around town in his new car. Joseph was so proud of his new set of wheels. Joseph worked tirelessly to pay for his new means of transportation. Knowing that he had worked so hard to purchase his own car, brought a satisfied grin to Joseph’s face. Joseph knew that hard work and determination would get him what he wanted, and it did.
So, according to this example, what is wrong? Does this sentence flow freely? Does it make use of pronouns? No. Count how many times “Joseph” was used in the paragraph. This paragraph is only five sentences long, but “Joseph” has been used five times. “Joseph” has been used at least once in each sentence. What do you think about that? Does that seem right to you? It doesn’t to me. What can be done to help this paragraph flow more smoothly? Replacing the proper nouns with pronouns. Now, read the same paragraph again in this corrected example. Notice how it is much easier to read and follow the paragraph.
Corrected example 1: Joseph loved to cruise around town in his new car. He was so proud of his new set of wheels. He worked tirelessly to pay for his new means of transportation. Knowing that he had worked so hard to purchase his own car, brought a satisfied grin to his face. Joseph knew that hard work and determination would get him what he wanted, and it did.
Here is another example of not making use of pronouns.
Example 2: The dog sniffed at the discarded can. The dog circled around the can before nudging it with his nose. As the dog pushed the can, it began to roll away from the dog. The dog moved closer to the can. Every time the dog pushed the can, the dog moved closer to it. Finally, after a long while of pushing the can around, the dog abandoned the can and turned his interest to a plastic bag fluttering about on the ground.
What’s wrong with this paragraph? Has “the dog” been used too many times? How could this sentence be corrected to make it more readable? Read this corrected version.
Corrected example 2: The dog sniffed at the discarded can. He circled around the can before nudging it with his nose. As he pushed the can, it began to roll away from him. The dog moved closer to the can. Every time he pushed the can, he moved closer to it. Finally, after a long while of pushing the can around, the dog abandoned the can and turned his interest to a plastic bag fluttering about on the ground.
Read this next example. What can be changed to make this paragraph better?
Example 3: Mrs. Brown stood at the chalkboard writing the day’s vocabulary words on it. Mrs. Brown always wrote the words down in advanced before her class arrived. Mrs. Brown was a fifth-grade teacher, and Mrs. Brown loved her job. Mrs. Brown continued writing on the board until Mrs. Brown heard her classroom door squeak open. Mrs. Brown turned from the chalkboard with a smile on her face and greeted her first student.
Does that look correct to you? I think not. We already know the paragraph is about Mrs. Brown, so why do we need to constantly repeat her name over and over again. It is unnecessary repetition. Replace some of the Mrs. Brown’s with ”she.”
Corrected example 3: Mrs. Brown stood at the chalkboard writing the day’s vocabulary words on it. She always wrote the words down in advanced before her class arrived. Mrs. Brown was a fifth-grade teacher, and she loved her job. She continued writing on the board until she heard her classroom door squeak open. She turned from the chalkboard with a smile on her face and greeted her first student.
Don’t those example paragraphs look and read much better? Yes, they do. So, next time you are in the process of writing something, be sure to check that you are taking advantage of your pronouns. Do a quick search of your document to see exactly how many times you have used a particular noun. Can any of those nouns be replaced with pronouns? If so, do so. You want to improve the readability of your work as much as possible. Use pronouns, pronouns, and more pronouns. Don’t worry, they won’t get mad, if anything, they’ll thank you. LOL.
If you’re not sure of what a pronoun is, check out these examples:
She, he, they, it, we, I, me, us, you, her, him, them, that, anybody, anyone, anything, each, everyone, everything, everybody, nobody, no one etc.
These are just a few examples. There are lots more for you to discover. For more in-depth descriptions on pronouns and their uses, a simple Google search will help you to find the pronoun that best suits your needs. Until next time. Happy writing!