Our first round of editing has begun on The Promised One, being released the summer of 2013 from Soul Mate Publishing. Over all, we have been pleased with the editorial comments, but among the glowing comments (which we all love to get from editors), guess what was one of the problems we missed?
Too many pronoun and proper name starts to sentences and paragraphs.
Now, this isn’t the only thing we’ve had to rework, but it is one of the bigger items on the list that is taking a lot more time than we anticipated.
Before you moan, “But we have to use pronouns,” we’re not suggesting you totally eliminate them. Just be aware of how many you use for sentences and paragraphs beginnings, and find a good balance.
Here’s an example of a couple of original paragraphs and the changes we made.
She fumbled in the drawer until cold steel met her fingers and breathed a sigh of relief. Baron always kept the gun loaded and ready. She clicked off the safety and crept to the staircase, fumbling for the light switch next to the doorway. She stepped back through the bedroom doorway when her fingers touched the switch plate and flipped on the hall light.
Cold steel met her fingers as she fumbled in the drawer, and she breathed a sigh of relief. Baron always kept the gun loaded and ready. Clicking off the safety, she crept to the staircase, fumbling for the light switch next to the doorway. When her fingers touched the switch plate, she stepped back through the bedroom doorway and flipped on the hall light.
He slipped the key fob into his pocket, and his hand touched the two rings. At least he had those. The diamond glittered in the harsh overhead light. He crossed the room to the window and scraped the edge of the stone on the glass. No mark.
Slipping the key fob into his pocket, his hand touched the two rings. At least he had those. The diamond glittered in the harsh overhead light. Going to the window, he scraped the edge of the stone on the glass. No mark.
Each of these paragraphs has three pronoun sentence starts. Not every paragraph had three out of four sentences starting with a pronoun. I looked for a couple of paragraphs that were the worst. By eliminating the pronouns, or rearranging the phrasing, we think the paragraphs read much smoother. When the editor pointed this out to us, it was a “Duh” moment that was so blatantly obvious that we wondered how we had missed it.
This item, along with the other things the editor noted, is going on our revision checklist so we catch it before we send the next book out.
Have you checked your manuscripts for too many pronoun starts to your sentences?