Friday, December 16, 2011

Climbing Out Of The "I" Pitfall

I don't know why I didn't think of it on my own, but when I read the comment left by Linda on my blog last week I realized I should have given some examples of how I got out of the "I" pitfall with first person. So, as I edited a new chapter this week I highlighted some instances where there were too many I's in one paragraph or where they could just simply be cut all together. Here are four examples of what I did.

Barely There is a story about a girl named Phoebe who has just realized she's a ghost. I don't want to give too much away, but it's really hard not to.

Example 1:

Draft #1: "Patrick had been the one to take the picture. I remembered him getting on me about how I didn't smile enough. He promised to leave me alone if I smiled for one picture. That was the one they chose for my obit."
- There were 3 I's in that small section & about 4 more in the following paragraph that I deleted all together due to confusing voice in that one. 

Draft #2: "Patrick had been the one to take the picture. I remembered him getting on me about I didn't smile enough. He promised to leave me alone if he could get a smile for one picture. It was the one they chose for my obit.
- I only cut out 1 I, but with the following deleted paragraph I got rid of 5.

Example 2:

Draft #1: "I want to meditate again. Now that I know more I want to try again."
- That's a lot of I's for two sentences. Usually, I try not to have this many in a row.

Draft #2: "I want to meditate again. Maybe having this new information will help."
- Yay! I deleted 2 I's!


Example 3:

Draft #1: "Then again Josh was my first real boyfriend. I wasn't exactly a pro at dating or breaking up with guys."
- This was just me getting rid of an I that was not necessary.


Draft #2: "Then again, Josh was my first real boyfriend."
- I deleted the entire second sentence. It's obvious enough from the first sentence that Phoebe isn't a pro at all.


Example 4: 

Draft #1: "I watched a car that was lower to the ground cross just fine. That made up my mind. I pushed forward."
- This was a simple case of losing the "I watched." It's unnecessary.


Draft #2: "The car in front of me was lower to the ground and crossed just fine. That made up my mind. I pushed forward."



Your Turn -> Do you agree with the changes I made? Is there anything I could have done differently? Feel free to share changes you have made in your own "I" pitfall changes. 

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