I'm writing a story in English but I'm not a native. I’m a Brazilian Portuguese speaker.
It bothers me how repetitive and ambiguous pronouns can be. In my language we can use the equivalent to ‘this one’ instead of he/she/it etc. It’s less usual, but still sounds natural. But I don’t know how it sounds to a native English speaker. The only examples I found in English were archaic.
John saw Mario again after three years, and thought that he (Mario, not John) lost a lot of weight.
Does it sound weird if I write instead:
John saw Mario again after three years, and thought that this one lost a lot of weight.
I wonder that something like ‘the guy’ could be used instead of ‘Mario’, but it would not sound good if Mario is a well known character by the reader. Of course I can use Mario again, but it doesn't work well in the sentence that concerns me.