A rose by any other name…

Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_tag

One of the awkward things about writing is that we become acutely aware of some of the words we use, especially the ones we use most often. “Said” can make us physically cringe, even though readers often glaze over it. In the same way, saying the same character’s name over and over and over again can sometimes start to feel cluttered and over-saturated, and so we can be tempted to mix it up a bit.

Maybe if the protagonist’s first name is worn out, you’re tempting to switch to his whole name, or his surname. Maybe a nickname, or an identifier like “the bespectacled man”.

I know it’s tempting, but please don’t– or if you absolutely must, tread with caution. Continue reading “A rose by any other name…”

Nitpicking Narrators – Part I: My name is Jake

While I’m busy with grad school, I’ll be replaying some of the most-read posts from my old blog.1st person

Some people instantly gravitate to one particular narrative style. The story they’re writing just naturally lends itself to one Point of View (POV) in particular. After all, who would want to read “That guy over there? His name is Jake,” as the intro to one of the Animorphs books? The same goes with Terry Pratchett’s stories– they just don’t work if you were to squeeze the whole story into a single person’s head.

Other stories, though, get a bit fuzzier, and we writers can get iffy on what POV works best for what stories. Hopefully, though, I can clear up a bit of that fuzziness. 

First Person

This is commonly known as I. I did things, I think things, I feel things. The reader feels like they’re in a conversation with the First Person. A lot of the times stories told in the First Person read like a diary, or a story being told by a friend. Continue reading “Nitpicking Narrators – Part I: My name is Jake”