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He , She or It? Need some help!

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Hi All,
I am working on a story about 4 friends - a bird, a bee, a butterfly and a sunflower.
So far they are gender neutral - for example I write
The bird tapped ITS foot impatiently or
The butterfly , an avid traveller , shared ITS stories.

However, now I have trouble with the dialog. For example I have a scene where the bird,butterfly and sunflower are waiting for the bee who is chronically late.
The bird and the butterfly are griping about it when the sunflower says, " Look, there ?? ( she/he) is "

Does this imply I need to assign a gender? A little stumped...
Any advice would be very helpful!
#1 - December 22, 2014, 09:33 PM
It's my iPad making the spelling mistakes, not I!

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I think "it" is fine there, too. I'd just be consistent. :)
#2 - December 22, 2014, 09:53 PM
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Larissa, so you mean the sunflower can say, " there IT is.." When it sees the bee coming?
#3 - December 22, 2014, 09:56 PM
It's my iPad making the spelling mistakes, not I!

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It is fine but if you give genders to the creatures, the pronouns have clearer antecedents. "It" is fine but she/he makes them a bit more easily identified with, without anthropomorphizing them. Just makes it more personal.
#4 - December 23, 2014, 04:56 AM
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I agree with Kell. The bird, bee, and butterfly have genders anyway. You might as well use them to help with the dialogue problem.
#5 - December 23, 2014, 07:13 AM
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You could also use the names more. I think gender helps kids identify though.

#6 - December 23, 2014, 07:38 AM

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I agree with Kell. The bird, bee, and butterfly have genders anyway. You might as well use them to help with the dialogue problem.

Think visually. The colorful birds tend to be male. Butterflies can be either. Bees are male (drones). Are worker bees female? I can't remember ... Anyway, just be consistent.

Vijaya
#7 - December 23, 2014, 07:48 AM
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That was very helpful! Thanks everyone!
#8 - December 23, 2014, 12:32 PM
It's my iPad making the spelling mistakes, not I!

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Good points by Vijaya!

(In most social bee colonies, the worker bees are all daughters of the queen. The drones are male, do not have stingers, do not gather pollen or make honey -- they just mate with the queen.)
#9 - December 23, 2014, 01:50 PM
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I agree with everyone here!
#10 - December 13, 2015, 03:49 AM

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I always refer to the pets/animals in my books as "he" or "she." Way more personal  :hamster :dog2 :bear2
#11 - December 13, 2015, 05:16 PM
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(In most social bee colonies, the worker bees are all daughters of the queen. The drones are male, do not have stingers, do not gather pollen or make honey -- they just mate with the queen.)
In the eusocial honey bee colony, the workers are sterile females, all daughters of the queen or her immediate predecessor, and all full- or half-sisters to each other (in the wild, the queen mates with multiple drones). A colony's drones are haploid pseudo-males meant primarily to mate with virgin queens from different colonies, but they also serve other vital functions within a healthy natural colony.
#12 - December 13, 2015, 10:15 PM
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Um, this thread is a year old, and the OP has probably moved on from this project... :)
#13 - December 14, 2015, 05:52 AM
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Um, this thread is a year old, and the OP has probably moved on from this project... :)

Probably. But the info is good for others to read, don't you think???
#14 - December 14, 2015, 07:46 AM

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Yes! And the thread *is* here for reference purposes, whether or not it's being actively posted in. :)
#15 - December 14, 2015, 11:30 AM
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I really like the idea of having all be gender neutral if that is your vision. I agree that using their names more could be a possible solution.

You might find as you work on it, the repetition of the names creates a fun or warm rhythm to the text.

Best of luck with this!
#16 - December 16, 2015, 03:33 PM
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Less confusing to just call the characters Bird, Bee, Butterfly, and Sunflower. When you use the words as common instead of proper nouns -- you wind up with a bunch of the-s. And that can bog down your flow.
#17 - December 16, 2015, 03:53 PM
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