Screenwriting : Personal Pronouns by Louis Tété

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Louis Tété

Personal Pronouns

Currently writing a sci-fi/drama feature about a female robot looking exactly like a human (like the T-800) but something is troubling me.

The idea is, i started referring to the robot as an "it" then as a "she" as the robot becomes more and more human.

However as i re-write and re-read, i feel it could confuse the reader and it has a repetitive effect, simply too many "it".

Therefore, in the action lines, should i refer as an "It" or as a "she" or else?

Any tips please?

Thanks guys and happy writing.

Ally Shina

Hey Loius. Well, this is just a suggestion, I can't substantiate it with anything except I've read books and scripts and stuff... and I think if she behaves more and more human, I'd call her an "it" simply because that's what she is. She doesn't suddenly become human at the end does she? If she doesn't become human... I suggest calling her an "it". She must either be acknowledged as a machine in the resolution or accepted as a human right? And... Artificial Intelligence. I just thought of a script with a similar premise. I'm going to post this so long... and check what Kubrick did to his script because he'll be a better source.

Eric Christopherson

How about "She/It" (although those with a southern accent might find that amusing).

Jaclyn Powell

Why not give the character a feminine name and call her by her name? Alexa, Siri...

Dan MaxXx

Here's how Ted Sarafian did it on the page for Terminator 3

Camera slowly tilts up...revealing:

Feet. Petite and delicate. Slender ankles. Sculpted calfs.

Long sturdy thighs. Small waist. Toned arms. Beautiful tan

skin. Silky hair just past shoulder length. Eyes sizzling

brightly with emerald green. Bee-stung lips. Flawless face

structure. Genetically perfect, impossibly beautiful. Meet

Skynet's newest prototype — T-1G.


A BOWLER dries his hands, wiggling his fingers above a fan as

he waits for the pins to set up.

The automatic pin set-up machine lowers ten deformed pins, .

all of which have been mutilated by the sphere. The pins

tumble to the lane, unable to stand on their own.

The Yuppie reacts as he got a STRIKE without having to do



What the hell...

Just then, all eyes feast on T-1G who struts across the lanes

like a runway supermodel — COMPLETELY NAKED.

A MOTHER covers her son's bulging eyes. Beer-drinking

Bowlers straighten their greasy hair as the girl of their wet

dreams approaches.

Beth Fox Heisinger

In Ex Machina, the robot or “conscious machine” is named “Ava” and is referred to as “she” in description. I would suggest naming the robot, and if modeled to be female then use “she” in description too. Perhaps to show change as the robot becomes more human, then show that evolution through the other characters’ reaction to her and that change. In dialogue, in the beginning, have characters refer to the robot as “it,” but after she starts to change and become more human their perception of her changes too and they start to use “she/her.” Just a thought. Hope that helps. ;)

Ally Shina

You know Louis, judging by the comments in this thread there is no set in stone way of doing it... I suggest calling her whatever has the best effect on the reader or the story then. And I just found out I don't watch enough robot movies.

Dan Guardino

Give the robot a name and don't use "it" or "she" so there is no confusion. The last thing you want to do is confuse a reader.

Louis Tété

Thank you all for your tips, i actually gave her a name from the start but i wasn't actually quite sure about the personal pronoun. I know what i got to do now, strongly appreciate it guys!

Andrew Graf

Names tend to make things clear to the reader verse "she" and "it."

Helps you stay consistent.

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