Illustrated image for article Are you writing? How to eliminate the word I AM!

Are you writing? How to eliminate the word I AM


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If you're an aspiring writer, sooner or later you'll run into a number of problems associated with creating new stories. Good news. You're not the first or the last! 

 

And so, thanks to the generations of writers before you who sat down with diligence at a simple table and calamari, we now have solutions to most of these birth pains.

We'll take them one at a time.

 

Today I begin with the word: I AM. Right on the tail of it sails me/me, we. Why is that? According to surveys, most first-time authors prefer the Ich form. That is, to tell a story in the first person. From the protagonist's point of view.

 

And that's where we see the word "I" more than enough. But it doesn't work well in the text. In fact, after a few pages, it's annoying, like the regular ticking of the bedroom clock when you want to sleep.

 

I reached my goal one night in November. I carefully arranged all the instruments around the table. I wanted to finally breathe a spark of life into the inanimate matter. I looked at the clock. It was one o'clock when I saw that my creation had opened its eyes.

 

A golden rule that can be applied almost anywhere, but doubly so in Ich form: Don't Describe-Show

 

Don't tell the reader what your character sees, show them. The text will be more vivid, but most importantly, you'll avoid the aforementioned words. 

 

I wouldn't have dreamed it would happen on that November night. The instruments were already carefully arranged around the table, as usual. So that I could breathe a spark of life into the inanimate matter. It was one o'clock after midnight when my creation first opened its eyes.

 

Don't tellI saw blood on the floor. ShowThere was blood on the floor. 

 

Of course, this cannot always be applied to the whole text. It wouldn't even be readable. As always, everything is in moderation. But believe that if you write in Ich form, the first thing any potential judges of your text will look at is the frequency of the word I.

 

So when you revise, let the word I disappear from your text like a paycheck at a spring sale.

 

P.S.: Did you know?

The example I used in the article is a loose transcription of portions of text from the book Frankenstein by Mary W. Shelley. She is considered by some to be the founder of the science fiction genre.



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Background Photo of the author Rina Vevesi!
Picture of the author: Rina Vevesi!

Rina Vevesi

Jihlava, Czech Republic

For me, writing is like opening a gateway to a new world - you never know what will be there, but it's always worth it!...

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