Everyone's a "he." What to do?

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Everyone's a "he." What to do?

Post by Guest on Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:11 pm

Ok, so in the little scrap of fantasy story that I have already posted, I originally chose the first person as my POV. I like this for very short pieces, as I usually use these kinds of pieces to tell one person's story. Now I am wanting to extend this little scrap into something larger and I am having a bit of trouble with character confusion. Or at least I think I am. Both of my protags are fellah's who are in a relationship, so they have cause to be around each other a lot in the writing of the story. I get worried that all of the he-him-his-ness of the narrrative is getting confusing, and I hate repeating their names on a constant basis to ensure clarity. Conundrom!

Now, obviously, both these fellah's will quickly begin to interact with others in the story (I even made a set of family trees using Visio to give me characters to pull in for all the delicious intrigue) and so I am sure that this issue will resolve as the cast expands and moves about, but for now, as I am painting these two guys, I just feel like all the one gender pronouns are getting both tedious and confusing. scratch

Help?

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Re: Everyone's a "he." What to do?

Post by Garmar on Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:39 pm

Will there be mostly dialogue? Or mostly narrative?

Maybe by mixing up the two so there's not a lot of either--balanced, you know? And dropping as many dialogue tags as possible. Also, keeping a balance of proper noun to pronouns throughout.

I'm not the most knowledgeable source for this. But this is what I would like to see in something I read. Writing it is a whole other thing though.

Hope this helps.

gar

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Re: Everyone's a "he." What to do?

Post by Guest on Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:04 pm

I tend to be rather dialogue driven in my writing.

Yes, I agree that a good mix of dialogue plus narrative is the way to go. I'm just gonna have to restructure what I have already written, since it did not suffer from the same capacity for confusion of person.

*goes back to story like little kid who don't wanna' do his chores* sarcasm biggrin

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Re: Everyone's a "he." What to do?

Post by NaClmine on Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:52 pm

See Wrey . . . there's another reason to promote the het lifestyle! No more "he", "he", "he". LOL

As far as using too many repetitive pronouns, you might trust the reader to understand intuitively who is speaking or acting. We writers often mistakenly think we have to hold the readers' hands throughout the story. Leave out as many pronouns as possible, replacing them with unattributed, yet understood, relationship to a person. For example:

(This is a scene between two men whose relationship is making a turn from friendship to romance . . . see Wrey, I can write about “it”! LOL)

Barry swirled the red wine in his glass. He knew it lacked the aroma of a full-bodied Bordeaux, but it would have to do. Hopefully, his guest had not feigned proficiency as a skilled vintner. He would soon know. And, he would also know if the promises made to him were real.

With a pinky finger extended for show, Martin followed the time honored principles of wine tasting. He swirled the acclaimed vintage and carefully sniffed the aromatic body. It failed to meet his expectations. He held the glass up in a ray of light. The wine simply did not carry the color or clarity he expected and he openly questioned its authenticity.

Barry was delighted that his friend had told the truth.

(Now, let's re-write those two paragraphs omitting as many repetitive pronouns as possible.)

Barry swirled the red wine. It lacked the aroma of a full-bodied Bordeaux, but would have to do. Hopefully, his guest had not feigned proficiency as a skilled vintner. The truth would soon be known, a simple truth that would mean all the other promises might also be real.

With a pinky finger extended for show, Martin followed the time honored principles of wine tasting. The acclaimed vintage swirled under scrutiny in the bowl of a crystal glass and its aroma rose to be judged. Expectations of excellence quickly faded. When held up to a ray of sunlight, the color and clarity of a fine wine were sadly lacking. “It’s a fraud,” the self-proclaimed vintner concluded.

Barry knew the promises to be true.

(Oh crap . . . does this make me a gay writer? affraid )
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Re: Everyone's a "he." What to do?

Post by Guest on Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:42 pm

NaClmine wrote:(This is a scene between two men whose relationship is making a turn from friendship to romance . . . see Wrey, I can write about “it”! LOL)... ...(Oh crap . . . does this make me a gay writer? affraid )

Saulty,

First, excellent advice. Thank you.


Second. Ok, how do I say this....

Saulty, I've web-known you for a few months now and I've seen you self-proclaim, more than once, to mild homophobia. scratch Saulty, you're one of the least homophobic people I've ever chatted with on the internet. I think it's time to let go of that title, man. It doesn't fit you! cool

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Re: Everyone's a "he." What to do?

Post by NaClmine on Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:55 pm

"It doesn't fit you!"

S'okay, Wrey. Not much does "fit" me. Have you seen my size? LOL

In truth, my friend, I treat every person based on the character I observe. It's that simple. Race, religion, culture, nationality, orientation (political, sexual, dietary and otherwise) make no difference to me . . . I can enjoy a BBQ with most anyone. On the other hand, I hold strong convictions which, as you know, I am quick to defend, yet I harbor no ill will to those confused, misguided fools who lack the capacity to understand as I do. <cough, sputter, choke on this pompous notion> As some religious guy once said, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." It's not a bad creed to live by.
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Re: Everyone's a "he." What to do?

Post by MC on Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:53 pm

You could use their job titles occasionally. "The captain", "the heir", "the businessman" or even personality type "the bolder of the two", "the shy man"...I don't know if that helps. Sorry.
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Re: Everyone's a "he." What to do?

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:07 pm

MC wrote:You could use their job titles occasionally. "The captain", "the heir", "the businessman" or even personality type "the bolder of the two", "the shy man"...I don't know if that helps. Sorry.

Why are you apologizing for offering help?? scratch Wink

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Re: Everyone's a "he." What to do?

Post by Colonel Marksman on Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:21 pm

Some of the good writing I see puts labels to characters that have not been introduced yet or are not given names. Its best to take a certain attribute or feature.

Take this example. It's a spy who watching over some suspicious men unloading crates from a truck.

Big and Baldy barked orders in Italian, his black eyebrows the only few inches of hair around his face, making his frown look over dramatic.

Leaning against the truck on the other side was Mr. Lazy with a leather jacket and a worn ball-cap, legs crossed and enjoying his smoke. He made a few cool remarks to Baldy, as if telling him to calm down with all the time in the world.

Beside him was Nervous, audibly chattering his teeth and constantly whispering his thoughts about the shadows around them, and working as quickly as possible. His belly pouched out of his white T when he bent down, jeans appearing ready to rip apart from the strain.

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Re: Everyone's a "he." What to do?

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