He Did That… She Did This…

Ravennas Monday MumblingsWelcome to Ravenna’s Monday Mumblings!

Let’t talk about sentence and paragraph structure. Somewhere along the line, I know I learned this, but it was brought to my attention this past week that I tend to start A LOT of paragraphs in a manuscript with either the hero or heroine’s name, or a pronoun – he, she, his, her.

Two amazing fellow Evernight authors are going to read the second Tortured Love book for me before I submit it (thank you Doris and Raven!!) and as a prep, I sent the first book in that series, UNYIELDING, to each of them to read and understand what I was looking for in the second book.

Raven pointed out to me how many sentences I begin with a name or a pronoun. When I went back and looked at what I’d written in the second book to date (all 175 pages of it!!) boy, oh boy was she right! It was enough that she was counting them in UNYIELDING. YIKES.

pronoun trainTook quite a bit of time to go back and fix them in the manuscript, but I’m so grateful I did. This second book is a much better read with the variance. But let me tell you, sometimes it’s not easy searching for a substitute, and also making sure you aren’t beginning every single paragraph or sentence with a gerund – those annoying ING words. That sticks out like a sore thumb, too, and can really distract from the reading.

So, just one more thing to keep in mind as you write and then self-edit. Like you don’t already have enough to think about, right?

Until next week… HAPPY WRITING!!

9 thoughts on “He Did That… She Did This…

  1. Thanks for the tips! I have definitely noticed myself putting character names as the initial words in sentences, as well as gerunds. Boooo! One of my biggest pet peeves about myself is that I am constantly catching spots where I’ve started sentences with “and” or “but” in manuscripts as well. Self-editing is hard, so I have a couple friends who like to beta read and help edit. I’ve gotten some pretty annoying habits pointed out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Karlie. And it’s not that you can never do that, but it’s easy to get into the habit of beginning most sentences/paragraphs that way, and it shows when reading through a story like that. 🙂

      Like

      • Absolutely. 🙂 There’s definitely a place for sentences which begin that way, but I caught myself doing it entirely too much. Once you spot those consistencies, it seems they’re easier to catch later on! Here’s to hoping I can break those bad habits.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I use Pro Writing Aid, after 1st draft is done, it gives me every edit from sentence structure to the overused words to sloppiness, adverb, nouns etc that need changing and it has helped so much. My gerunds & pronouns get fixed but i write 1st drafts like that as it works better for me, but u r so right, so hard to find alternate solutions sometimes.
    Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

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