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  1. #1
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    When writing in 3rd person..

    I love to write in 3rd person. I love to explore all the characters in my story and follow them as the story progresses. I have a question. How do I write without the constant use of She was, he was, they were and then he could.. you get it. I feel as though it gets redundant. some examples please?



  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by nettahobs View Post
    I love to write in 3rd person. I love to explore all the characters in my story and follow them as the story progresses. I have a question. How do I write without the constant use of She was, he was, they were and then he could.. you get it. I feel as though it gets redundant. some examples please?
    For one thing, don't start the sentences with those phrases. Bury them if you can. "The sun rose over the tall grasses. Dew sat heavy on the flowers. Bees buzzed near Gertrude's head as she read. Despite the distraction, the book was engrossing enough to her that she nearly dropped it when she heard Don's footsteps on the gravel.

    Could have been "Gertrude was sitting in the wet grass, reading, when Don appeared over the hill.

    I don't know if this is what you mean or not, but I spent a little time on it so I'm going to post. It may look like I'm saying "get a lot more wordy" in your writing, but that's not the answer, I don't think. Maybe others will have better answers.

  3. #3
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    There's two things that can come after "He was", "She was", etc.: either an adjective or a verb.

    For an adjective, learn to describe things in terms of action. Instead of writing "She was anxious", describe the things she does that show her anxiety. She frets with her clothes, her hands shake, she gives a little shriek when the phone rings, she stutters when she talks. She can do all these things and more, and the reader will know much better that she's anxious without you directly saying a thing about her anxiety.

    For a verb, simply learn to use simple past tense verbs instead of "ing" verbs or passive voice verbs. Instead of "She was walking in the park when...", write "As she walked in the park...". Instead of "She was hit by the bus", write "The bus hit her.

    I think you're very astute for recognizing this defect in your writing. Although my advice is simple, it's very difficult to practice at first. But in time, if you practice it consistently, it gets much easier, and your writing improves quickly by leaps and bounds.

  4. #4
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    You've already gotten some good advice here. Get rid of the passive verbs: was, were, seemed, appeared, etc. Replace them with more active verbs.

    And go deeper into the POV so that the reader sees and experiences the story with the same immediacy as your character.

    For example, instead of: He could hear the trucks roaring over the top of the hill.

    Change it to: The trucks roared over the top of the hill.

    Now the reader is "with" the character, experiencing the events as he experiences them.

    Hope that helps.

    Jeanne

    P.S. Wow! The text layout is really wonky! I see text over text and text in the wrong boxes. What happened??

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice. I will try and use each of these suggestions when I write.

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