“Variety in our narrative is important. Sometimes we might worry that using a character’s name or even a pronoun over and over again will grow repetitious in readers’ minds. But, frankly, this is not a concern. Character names and pronouns are invisible to readers. They’ll never fault you for overusing them. If you’re struggling with monotonous sentences, the problem is not that you’re using Sienna’s name in every sentence. The problem is that you’re not varying your sentence structures.”
I am going to add that I agree with this statement because the same blogger has also written statements that contradict this one.
Value in Repetition
“Off again! On again! In again! Out again!” -Dr. Suess (The Sneetches and Other Stories)
Picture Books love repetition, and so do readers.
Young readers thrive on predictable sequences because they are easier to read and understand.
It also helps maintain a rhythm and, if done right, can add interest to the otherwise boring text.
LeWhile searching for books to read this month, I ran across an article by Olivia Heinbaugh on Romper that recommended a picture book with no pronouns, What Riley Wore.
It is unique because it substitutes “Riley” for pronouns where you would typically expect them.
Pronouns are not always useful. So, I have tinkered around with the idea of leaving them out altogether. This example gave me the courage to put it to practice.
I did not notice the missing pronouns, at least not in a casual reading.
What Riley Wore succeeded because the author varied sentence structure to avoid monotony and carefully applied repetition where it suited the text.
The repetition did not grate on my ears; it did the opposite. It added interest to the text.
You can omit pronouns from picture books with:
This post was proofread by Grammarly
Hi, my name is Cory Shaw. I am an author and illustrator of books and book covers for children.
This blog uses affiliate links.
See My Covers: