1 (edited by Dirk B. 2022-03-25 02:44:26)

Topic: (over)use of pronouns?

I thought I'd asked this before but I can't find the thread and don't remember the answer. I'm getting conflicting advice about the use of pronouns vs. character names in my writing. Specifically, I have a female detective who is often the only woman in the scenes, which can run for many pages. I identify her at the beginning of each scene she's in since she's my POV character. After that, in theory, I could write the whole rest of the scene referring to her simply as she or her. One of my best reviewers encourages me to use pronouns whenever possible. Others say it reads "off" and encourage sprinkling in her name from time to time. I'm in the camp of those who think it doesn't read right, but perhaps I'm just behind on best practices. To make it more unusual, she has a male co-worker, who is usually one of several males in the scene. So I'm often forced to use his name to be clear, but not hers. In some cases, I'm writing phrases like "She and De Rosa drove" or "The cardinal told her and De Rosa" or "She handed it to De Rosa" and so on.

Thoughts?

Thanks
Dirk

Re: (over)use of pronouns?

I like to put the antecedents in every few paragraphs, or after the character has not spoken for a while.

Re: (over)use of pronouns?

As a reader, I prefer the name once in a while. It reminds the reader who is talking, especially if the book is put down and picked up later.

Re: (over)use of pronouns?

Dirk, I agree with you and the others who posted. You might actually be making her out to be a secondary character if you usually refer to her by a pronoun. There are other ways to mention characters so you're not overusing proper names or pronouns.

"She and De Rosa drove" could read "The two of them..."

Re: (over)use of pronouns?

I've been told that I repeat words. I assume that if you repeat her or she that it becomes repetitious or perhaps less creative.

Re: (over)use of pronouns?

Thank you, all.