When it comes to reading, I can overlook a lot of things. Adverbs don't bother me, not even when they are in speech tags. Sometimes I enjoy flowery prose. I can handle head hopping and even some plot holes. At times, I will even overlook cliches, because sometimes they fit better than explaining it a different way.
But there is one thing that irritates me to high hell and I can't look past.
Personal pronoun starts.
Don't think I'm dumb. Every book/novel/manuscript has them, but it's the amount of them that gets on my nerves. When I see a paragraph and five out of eight sentences start with: he, she, I, or a name, it makes me want to scream.
In my opinion, this is lazy writing. And it isn't necessary!
When I write, I try not to use more than one per paragraph. Yes, I actually make a conscious effort to do this. Why? Because I don't want a boring book. I want people to sink into my writing and not be yawing over all the things he/she are doing.
It's almost as though people don't know how many alternative ways there are to start a sentence. So, I'm going to help out and list ten other ways to do so:
1. Article - The girl sat on the bus.
2. Noun - Rain soaked through his jacket.
3. Interjection - Oh, he knew what he was doing.
4. Participial phrase - Running after her, he stumbled and fell.
5. Conjunction - Either she wanted to be with him or she didn't.
6. Adverb - Stubbornly, he crossed his arms.
7. Adjective - Upset over what had happened, he refused to speak to anyone.
8. Prepositional Phrase - At the top of the stairs, he turned around.
9. Infinitive Phrase - To pour out his soul to the woman he loved was his goal.
10. Gerund - Shouting was the only thing that worked.
These examples were written on the fly. Don't judge me on them.
I am not pedantic. Nor am I a grammar Nazi. To be honest, I'm not even all that picky. But Personal Pronoun starts are the bane of my existence. (That's a cliche!) Not only will adjusting how you start your sentence make your writing stronger, but it will also improve the readability of your novel. Oh, it also increases the fluidity of your narrative.