Your novel’s written in first person. Here are some tips for how to ensure your narrative doesn’t become overloaded with ‘I’ but remains immersive.
Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the court-house sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then; a black dog suffered on a summer’s day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft tea-cakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.
People moved slowly then. They ambled across the square, shuffled in and out of the stores around it, took their time about everything. A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. But it was a time of vague optimism for some of the people: Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself.
‘I’ plus filter word. Reader’s gaze is inwards, on the how
Recast: Reader’s gaze drawn outwards towards the what
I recall the argument we had last week.
Last week’s argument is still fresh in my mind.
I recognized the man’s face.
The man’s face was familiar.
I saw the guy turn left and dart into the alley.
The guy turned left and darted into the alley.
I spotted the red Chevy from yesterday parked outside the bank.
There, parked outside the bank, was the same red Chevy from yesterday.
I still feel ashamed about the vile words I unleashed even after all these years.
The vile words I unleashed still have the power to bathe me in shame even after all these years.
I wasn’t sure if Shami was a reliable witness but I couldn’t afford to ignore her, given what she’d divulged.
Was Shami a reliable witness? Maybe, maybe not. She couldn’t be ignored given what she’d divulged.
I still didn’t know who the killer was.
The killer’s identity was still a mystery.
I wondered whether Shami was a reliable witness.
Shami might or might not be a reliable witness.
Shami’s reliability as a witness was hardly a given.
Shami’s reliability as a witness was questionable.
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