Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 month ago

How do I avoid starting my sentences with "I" in my story?

This is for a creative writing class:

“I love you. Please say you love me too.”

I giggled excitedly and leaned forward in my chair, eager to what my favorite character on TV had to say. I then heard my sister groan from the couch behind me, followed by the sound of pounding footsteps. I turned and saw her rushing for the remote on the armchair, so I quickly grabbed it and stood up, holding it high above her head. I laughed as she struggled to reach it.

There was something strange about being taller than your older sibling, but it definitely had its perks.

“Give me the remote, Joshua!” She yelled, throwing weak punches at me. Her youthful face framed by a short, dark bob only added to her not being threatening.

“I need to know if Marie loves David back, Elena!”

As I held her back with one hand, I diverted my attention back to the TV, but it was too late. It was already a commercial break.

Update:

There are too many "I"'s.

12 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    Yeah, WAY too many personal pronouns.

    ---------------------

    “I love you. Please say you love me too.”

    It made me giggle excitedly and lean forward in my chair, eager to HEAR what my favorite character on TV had to say. My sister groaned from the couch and I heard pounding footsteps. She made a rush for the remote on the armchair,

  • 1 month ago

    You can avoid lots of them by using the "Holding her back with one hand, I ..." construction, instead of "I held her back with one hand and I" ...

    But don't overdo it. It can get just as tedious as 'I', 'I' all the time.

    .

  • Tina
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    "followed by the sound of pounding footsteps" - how big was this room? you need quite a good space to make a noise of pounding footsteps. If they're both watching the television all she needs to do is lunge.

  • 1 month ago

    What you're doing is called filtering, telling the reader what senses the narrator used to reach a conclusion or experience an event. Filtering is the difference between "I heard a thud, and I saw my new book on the floor" and "Thud! My new book lay on the floor." Trust the reader to figure out your narrator used her eyes, ears, or brain instead of telling them.

    When you write in first person (which I often do), removing filtering also removes "I" a lot of the time.

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  • Zac Z
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Some "I"s can be avoided quite easily.

    Instead of "I then heard my sister groan from the couch behind me", simply say "My sister groaned from the couch behind me". Since the narration is written in first person it is obvious that you heard her groan so the "I heard" is redundant and as a bonus it gets rid of the inelegant "then".

    Overall, I have to disagree with you, though. There really aren't terribly many "I"s in your text. If you're writing a first person narrative having "I"s in your sentences is not unusual.

    I would recommend you to check out some classics. Many novels from the 19th century or earlier use first person narration (Dracula, The Time Machine, Frankenstein, and lots of others), and they are usually freely available on sites like Project Gutenberg because they're in public domain.

    Read some passages and focus on how they use (or avoid) the ominous "I".

    Like I said, you'll see that even in those books, which are rarely accused of being hack jobs, the authors sometimes employ a lot of "I"s, generally when the first person narrator talks about their own actions rather than others' or general description.

  • 1 month ago

    Look up other words for I ;-; Or rephrase the sentence

  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    To be honest, the whole thing needs rewriting.

    And why do we want to know all this?  It's not creative, interesting or apparently leading anywhere.

    My version, if I really had to present this, would be - 

    "Leaning forward in my chair, I giggled excitedly, eager to hear what my favorite character on TV had to say.  My sister groaned from the couch behind me and I turned just in time to see her rushing for the remote. I grabbed it and stood up, holding it high above her head, laughing as she struggled to reach it.“Give it to me, Joshua!” she yelled, throwing weak punches at me. I pushed her back with one hand. “I need to know if Marie loves David back, Elena!”  Glancing back at the TV, I could see that I'd missed my chance.  It was already on a commercial break."

  • 1 month ago

    rethink your writings Milkshakes, example: "I was writing to you to rethink your writings."

    But instead, "While rethinking what I write to you, rewriting was the suggestion."

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  • 1 month ago

    Then, my sister started to groan.... As she rushed for the remote,.... Does Marie love David? Work on your grammar. It's all messed up.

  • 1 month ago

    Use action words instead of I or me, for example

    "Hearing her words made me giggle excitedly as I leaned forward in my chair"

    "Suddenly, my sister groans from the couch behind me"

    "She was rushing for the remote"

    heres an example not in your paragraph

    "I turned to see a ghost"

    becomes

    "Turning around, a ghost appeared before me"

    • bluebellbkk
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Dash it, Tina, whenever I click to make a Comment you've got there ahead of me, and you've always made the Comment I was going to make too!

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