Hints on Storytelling Style

Dear Ms. B:

You wrote:

Hello.  I am writing a story and it’s been a while since I’ve had English classes.  In each paragraph, do I use the individual’s name, or should I refer to her as ‘she?’  When her name is used at the beginning of a paragraph, but I continue speaking of her, I have used she.  I just don’t want to over-use her name or she, either one.

Example:  Victoria is a wonderful individual.  She has many talents.  Then next paragraph:  Victoria spoke to her daughter.  Would this be the correct form? I look forward to your help, Thank you!

Two thoughts:

1. It is hard to overuse pronouns (except maybe “me” and “I” when boasting!). Pronouns are meant to take the place of nouns. As long as it is clear who “she” is, there should be no problem. There could be a problem in the second paragraph only because “she” could refer to either Victoria or her daughter if the writing is unclear.

2. You can always substitute a synonym for “Victoria” from time to time; for example, you might call her “the mother” in paragraph two.

I hope this helps.

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