Writing Prompt: The “I”s have it

Although I’m not 100% certain, I think there’s a good case to say that “I” is the most frequently used word in the English language. 

How difficult would it be, do you think, to write a short narrative in the first person minimising the use of the word “I”? It would require the narrator to describe the world around them and the people they engage with in great detail, whilst distancing themselves to some degree. Clever turns of phrase and substitutes for “I” would be needed in great quantities. 

For instance, you’d need to describe yourself in creative ways such as, “your hero”, “your narrator”, “the teller of this tale” or as Nabokov frequently used, “horrible”, “handsome”, “humble” Humbert. In other words, for how long could you describe yourself in the 3rd person before your dear readers caught on, got confused or tired of their narrators tedious habit of referring to themselves as thus?

There is something to be said for the humble letter “I”.  As well as being a vowel, it is, to my mind, the most important letter in the alphabet. 

Just for fun. How long can you write a scene, whereby you are the narrator without the use of the word “I”?

I’m off to find out. It’s harder than it sounds. 


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