View Full Version : Starting sentences with "He" or "She"

06-26-2005, 11:11 AM
One thing I'm very conscious of is starting my sentences with "He" or "She." I feel like I do it too much. Not usually a problem in short stories, but a few chapters into a novel I start doing it. I've read into the middle of other novels to see how other authors have handled it. They start sentences off with "He" or "She," but not every single one. Am I just being sensitive to something, or does anyone have advice on getting away from the "He" and "She"?

Cathy C
06-26-2005, 06:49 PM
Sure. There are lots of ways to handle it. First, I presume that "he" and "she" have names, right? Here are a couple of ways to handle the issue:

Here's the issue:
"He went to the store to buy bread and, while there, also purchased ice."

Here are three possible solutions:

"Bob went to the store to buy bread and, while there, also purchased ice."

"The ice was probably going to be a bag of water by the time he got home from the store with the bread."

"Just great! Now I have ice, but still no bread. What a wasted trip to the store."

See how easy? The first one relies on using the name, instead of he said, she said. The second proposes the action of the ice melting, and the bread is an afterthought. The third one drops into "deep point of view" by directly relaying Bob's thoughts to the reader (perfectly acceptable in third person). It also makes the original trip to buy bread a springboard for the next scene of going to a second store.

All of the methods relay the same information of the original sentence, but have the ability to advance the plot or advance the character (being annoyed) as well.

Hope that helps! :D