Skip to main content
To get started with Facebook or create a free account. Otherwise login here.
Posted by Dennis

Chuck Palahniuk's July Essay, "Names Versus Pronouns"

For those of you that don't know, we have a rare gift on our site. Something anyone wishing to be a writer -- or simply wanting to improve their craft in writing -- will benefit from greatly.

Three years ago, Chuck Palahniuk began an amazing partnership with the Writers Workshop on our website, whereby every month he would submit a craft essay on writing. This was an original essay he typed up from his word processor, just for his readers. Chuck kept up with these essays for two solid years on our site. He then decided to take three years off, away from them. But he has returned with more for 2008!

The essays are pay for the first month they appear, and require a Premium Membership. This membership not only gets you access to them as soon as they go live, but you also get access to all the previous 2008 essays, as well as all 24 essays from 2003-2004! (that's 30 original essays from Chuck, folks!)

If you'd rather not make that commitment just yet, then all you have to do is wait a little, and a month after the new essay is released, it becomes free for the next 30 days, and the rotation begins all over again.

Let me repeat: You cannot find these essays anywhere else! They are a rare glimpse into Chuck's method as a writer. They also function as a diary in some respects, on where his head is at each month. Chuck did have plans at one point to release them in a How To book, but the idea never came to pass.

If you would like to get access to the new July essay, as well as the previous six 2008 essays, and the 24 essays from 2003-2004, then sign up today to become a Premium Member on our site. If you are already a Premium Member, then:

Read Chuck's July Essay, Names Versus Pronouns

Here's an excerpt:

The obvious problem with avoiding pronouns is repeating nouns until they become monotonous. For example, "Shelley Parker closed the book. Then, Shelley Parker dropped the book on the floor. Shelley Parker bent at the waist to retrieve the book."

No, using the pronouns "she" and "it" wouldn't make these sentences much better, just shorter.

So instead, consider that everything has multiple names, the least-powerful of which is the usual noun. For example, "Shelley Parker closed the book. Then, Miss Parker dropped the dusty thing on the floor. The coy minx bent at the waist to retrieve the crumpled pile of pages."

If you are not a Premium Member, and are not interested in this wealth of knowledge ;) ..... then the June essay is now free and available to all.

Read Chuck's June Essay, Utility Phrases: When Words Fail

Have a Happy 4th of July weekend!!