No “He He He” — Writing is not a laughing matter

All authors have strengths and weaknesses.

I’m pretty good at story.

Description and grammer, on the other hand, are not definitive strengths.  Those are the aspects of writing that I work on day in and day out.

One easy trap to fall into as a beginning writer is to overuse sentences that begin with pronouns.  “He He He” syndrome hits me when I’m so excited about getting my thoughts down on paper (or into a word document as it were) that I forget that people don’t simply want the play by play but a story.

I noticed it in the first draft of my current novel as I was doing a re-write.  Every sentence started with “He” … “He ran there.  He shot someone.  He ran back.”

He He He.

Which made me laugh, but then I remembered that I don’t want people laughing at my writing (unless it’s a funny part).

Take this before and after example:

She switched to greens and yellows and some friendly blues this time using a mop to mix and create a weave of brighter hues.  I smiled as I watched paint drops wreck her trendy clothes but nothing could stop her enjoyment of this new world . 

She finally caught me staring.

She, I, She …. (we’ll ignore the other problems).  Not quite He, He, He but still not exactly a great variation.

The next painting was a mix of greens, yellows, and friendly blues slapped on with a mop to mix and create a weave of brighter hues.  Paint drops wrecked her trendy clothes but nothing could penetrate this new world. 

She caught me staring at her.

Much better.  Maybe not Pulitzer Prize material (though the short story from above is not likely win one of those), but at least there is some variation.

So when you sit down to re-write, remember avoid the “He He He”s, writing is no laughing matter.

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About kentostby
Kent Ostby is a fiction and efficiency writer who is willing to dabble in just about any other phase of writing as well.

One Response to No “He He He” — Writing is not a laughing matter

  1. Kira Stann says:

    Very well stated. I have the same thing happening to me while I write. One thing that has helped me is writing articles in third person. Enough with the I and me, thank YOU for sharing this!

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