If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Friday, November 17, 2006

He, she, it

We wrap up the writing class this afternoon. Yesterday I made one more edit of our story after searching for weasel words. When I found 'he' 420 times, I searched for 'she' and found 231. 'It' was close behind, with 227. The three words together comprised nearly 6% of the story.

To create a clear visual of the problem (for myself and my kids) I highlighted he, she, and they* in different colors. That made it very easy to see clumps of pronouns where sentences had to be reworded.

It was a rather lengthy exercise, but worth it for my own experience if nothing else. I will be doing this with other work, although I probably won't do entire manuscripts. A short story of 15,000 words is one thing; a 100,000 word novel is quite another. I will also be compiling a personal weasel word list AND saving it in a place where I can find it! Nothing like making a resolution on my birthday--no pressure!

Yesterday boosted my minute count, too. I'm up to 1,080 minutes, or 18 hours.

* I highlighted 'they' instead of 'it' for two reasons: I didn't search for 'they' before I started highlighting, but I saw a lot of them; and I figured taking care of 'he' and 'she' would take care of 'it' in the process. I was wrong about the second part--I only eliminated one. 'It' gets added to the weasel word list.



Blogger Jean said...

Thanks for the update on how "it's" going. ;)

5:46 PM  

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