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.