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SAME GENDER character refers into sentences : Tips and Advice • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

SAME GENDER character refers into sentences

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HawkEliz489
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SAME GENDER character refers into sentences

Postby HawkEliz489 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:12 am

Hi guys.
I really didn't know what to name this topic. But I can explain the problem that I've 'found' into my story. And lately it makes me think I'm doing something wrong.

The story is in 3rd POV. And it seems that I have scenes in which characters of same gender appear together many times. Thing is, as I write sentences and paragraphs, it makes me think I am messing characters and it will confuse the readers.
Here is some short example:

Version 1.

Version 2.

Thing is, both kinda seems right and wrong to me at the same time. In Version 1, I think I am misleading readers with too many "She.Her."
In Version 2, I think I'm repeating Characters' names a lot.
I know the example is not really good, and it can be worked out, but problem is not about this sentence. My question is about: How should I balance names and pronouns when it comes to characters of the same gender?
“Do I look like the leader of this merry band of misfits?”

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Crono91
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Re: SAME GENDER character refers into sentences

Postby Crono91 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:27 am

This is one of those writing questions I feel comes more down to intuition and your readers, rather than a technique you could read online.

Intuitively, as you write, you should begin to feel a flow of knowing when and how to use pronouns, and when to reintroduce the name. Then after that, when you let your trial readers read what you have, they will spot the leftover spots where they feel they were confused on who was who.

As for the versions, version two is preferred. Naturally when the same gender is together, the reader's mind is always trying to make sure they know who is who before it's even said, so the repeated names will not bother them. Now if you're constantly referring to both of them at the same time and having to keep reusing names, you may want to change the sentences some.

Karen glanced at Grace. She thought Grace was getting nervous about what the teacher had told her last week. Maybe she would move on and not worry about it, but knowing Grace, she would turn each day into a big drama until something was done about the teacher.


Use her name three times in three sentences. Doesn't matter. :P
Be proud of your mistakes when they form from blinding passion. But now edit them.

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Terry T.A. Rodgers
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Re: SAME GENDER character refers into sentences

Postby Terry T.A. Rodgers » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:40 am

How many people are in the scene? Could the first sentence be changed to: Karen glanced at her.

If not, either rewrite the paragraph or leave it be.

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pls
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Re: SAME GENDER character refers into sentences

Postby pls » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:41 am

The use of limited third-person POV (unless you're trying to use omni) solves the problem. Either sentence will work.
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Terry T.A. Rodgers
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Re: SAME GENDER character refers into sentences

Postby Terry T.A. Rodgers » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:43 am

When I mean change the paragraph I mean something like:

Karen glanced at Grace. Was she getting nervous about what the teacher had said last week?

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HawkEliz489
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Re: SAME GENDER character refers into sentences

Postby HawkEliz489 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:24 pm

“Do I look like the leader of this merry band of misfits?”

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TwoStepCharlie
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Re: SAME GENDER character refers into sentences

Postby TwoStepCharlie » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:41 pm

Me, I might do it this way.

Karen glanced at her friend. Was Grace getting nervous about what the teacher had said last week?
Blow up the bridge?!


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