Writing scenes in the first person can be tricky. In fact, I’ve seen seasoned writers run across problems when doing them. The challenge often has to do with the frequent self-reference – using “I” just seems so natural on a first-person piece that it can end up making the text sound awkward.
Reducing the amount of times you use the pronoun “I” is a primary concern when writing in the first person. The less you employ it, the less cumbersome your material usually reads. Here are a few tips to help you accomplish that:
1. Remember that it’s already assumed, from the onset, that the story is told from the writer’s point of view. As such, you no longer need to remind the reader that “I” am doing the thinking, speaking and narrating. Declaring “I saw,” “I imagined” or “I thought” is simply redundant.
2. Keep a keen eye for the excessive use of “I” during editing. When you’re drafting, it may break your flow to count how many times you reference yourself. If you find that to be an issue, then leave checking for your use of the word “I” during the editing process. Make sure to revise excessive use by rewriting the entire sentence. You can use an English checking software to help run these checks.
3. Read first person writing from accomplished authors. You can learn a lot about how to properly use self-references from studying the works of those before you. See how often they use the pronoun “I” in a page and in a string of paragraphs, getting a feel for what you find to be a balanced amount.