Marshall Payne (marshallpayne1) wrote,
Marshall Payne
marshallpayne1

More Word Repetition and Sundry

Back on June 28th I wrote a post about word repetition, where I talked about the overuse of "he/she" in fiction. I also touched on first person narrative where "the overuse of the word 'I' snakes down the page like a testament to the Me Generation."

Recently I started reading Harry Connolly's Child of Fire, his first novel in the Twenty Palaces series. While the prose is rather mundane, the story is fast-paced with enough unique elements to separate the book from the glut of urban fantasy crowding the bookshelves. And though the overuse of Dick and Jane sentences and lack of expressive writing bothered me, I pressed on.

Until I got to Chapter Ten:

There are sixteen short paragraphs on pages 172 and 173, the first two pages of Chapter Ten. Thirteen of the sixteen paragraphs begin with the word "I":

I jumped backward…
The door banged open again…
I snatched the steaming cup of coffee…
I rolled the chair forward…
I grabbed the door handle.
The wolf found its feet...
I vaulted back over the counter…
I grabbed the cloth bag…
I couldn't have run after Annalise…
I pushed through the double doors…
I was halfway down the hall…
The wolf paused about a third of the way…
I turned the corner…
I was trapped.
I took out my ghost knife…
I heard the clatter of…

As I said in the previous post: "Sometimes it's good to say something twice to clarify a point or to achieve an effect. Often it's just lazy writing." To me, this is the latter. Varying the beginning of the sentences above would've been a fairly easy thing. I wonder why the author missed this. I really do. I do. I do.
Tags: copyediting hints and kinks, fiction writing
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