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My question is similar to this one, but I am not happy with the answer. Also, my style and sample example are very different.

I am writing a biography and all the writing has become, ' he did this' 'he did that, 'he said that', etc

Following is a snippet of my writing;

After completing post-graduation in philosophy his father wanted him to take care of the cloth shop but he refused. Instead, he chose to be a teacher for a few years thinking that it will help him to get the required communication skills to talk to the masses.

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    I think it's fine. As an author, we read our writing over and over again, so any minor repetition gets amplified to us in a way that they wouldn't to a reader.
    – Murphy L.
    Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 13:17
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    You can always swap between pronoun and character name, and consider using epithets, nicknames, and alternative forms of their name. (You don't specify what sort of biography you're writing, so nicknames etc may or may not be appropriate.) Read an encyclopedia entry on a person or something similar to see how they handle it.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Mar 21, 2022 at 18:03

2 Answers 2

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Alternate using the name and the pronouns. Also you can reword to reduce how many pronouns are needed per sentence and paragraph. For example I have rephrased your sample text as follows:

After completing post-graduation in philosophy his father wanted him to take care of the cloth shop. Refusing the request he chose instead to be a teacher for a few years thinking it would help develop the required communication skills to talk to the masses.

This (without even substituting in the person's name) reduced the count of he/him/his from 5 to 3. That could be reduced further by replacing the "he" in the second sentence with the person's name to make it clearer that it is the primary subject and not the father who became a teacher (though with the re-wording that brought the refusal to the second sentence that is less necessary).

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Intimacy Issues:

Joelle gives a good, solid answer (+1). This will reduce your him/he/his/they/them content reasonably. But I'd like to know how scholarly this needs to be and how well you know the person and their motivations. If the subject is familiar and it's not too formal, consider a more intimate, personal approach to the writing.

If you keep the point of view almost like a story, the implied identity of the person being discussed is the main character. The increased intimacy of a story character makes the biography very readable and entertaining. Consider your example:

After completing post-graduation in philosophy, Father thought a job in the family clothing shop would be a way to support the family and earn steady money. But a higher need won out over love, and a dream of talking to the masses meant a career as a teacher. Skills in communications required the practice provided by a job in education. For a few years at least, or that was the idea.

You know who the person is, and there's not a single pronoun in the whole thing. This is VERY informal, and won't work in a lot of circumstances. You need to really understand their motives to make this level of intimacy work. I took this to the extreme, but you can get away with fewer pronouns when the subject is completely implied.

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