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Showing posts from August, 2010

Writing Styles

Writing Styles and Tone of Voice


Your writing style is just like your fingerprint -  it’s unique. Some writers are blunt and to the point, others are prosaic, some are erudite and some are poetic. Each writer has his or her own ‘voice’ within writing, a way of expressing the story to the reader. How you do that is the subjective part, and sometimes it can take years to find that ‘voice’. The writing reflects your personality rather than someone else’s.

Writing style is all about the way you put together words and sentences. There is no right or wrong way, other than to be clear and concise and convey the message of the story, and that is precisely why some readers prefer one writer to another. It’s personal preference, their idea of good writing style. I personally like Stephen King’s writing and Dean Koontz – each has their own distinct style and yet they write similarly. I like to read Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy but I don’t like Frederick Forsythe’s style.

Some writers are straig…

POV Continued...

POV and Tenses

Feeling tense?

Problems with POV tenses within fiction are common. We all slip up occasionally, shifting from tense to another in the narrative without realising. Even established authors do it, so don’t feel too bad.

Verb tense tells us when the action occurs - in the past, the present or the future. It also lets us whether the action was completed or is continuing.
Past tense is the narrator telling us what happened, since it happened in the past. Present tense is telling us the events as they happen, now. Future – well that’s self-explanatory, it’s what will happen in the future, from this moment.


First Person POV and Tenses
With first person point of view, you can have first person present tense or first person past tense. Most first person stories are past tense. This means the narrator looks back and tells his or her story:

I saw her there, she was lovely. “Hello,” I said.

First person present can be a difficult beast to master, and yet most new writers inexplica…

Point of View - Which one?

POV still confuses writers, and character viewpoint within the story causes no end of headaches, so we’ll look at both Point of View and character viewpoint as these two are easily confused.

You may have read in various articles and ‘How To’ guides that there are umpteen Point of View options available to you, however, there are only three base points of view within creative fiction:

First Person

Third Person

Omniscient

There are countless sub-categories for POV’s, such as Objective POV, Second Person POV, Limited, Omniscient, Subjective, Objective and so on. These are all expansions of the above three base elements and often present a confusing picture to new writers, but in truth, there are only three.

Point of view one is of fiction’s most useful tools. It can change the perspective of how your story is read because different POV’s give different results. Also, certain POV’s suit some stories better than others, so it’s up to you which one you feel is right for your story.

First Perso…

Characterisation Continued...

Characterisation & Body Language

Continuing the theme of characterisation, body language is often overlooked when dealing with characters, yet the nuances of body language can play an important role in conveying a real, believable character.

Gestures offer the reader a glimpse into your character’s thoughts without the need for interior dialogue. Watch someone talking, and it’s likely his or her hands and head will be moving as they speak. Their movements are reinforcing what they’re saying.

When we listen to someone talking, we give away what we’re thinking by body language; propped finger against the temple, leaning on elbows, leaning on the hands while supporting the head, or sitting bolt upright. All these subtle gestures can tell us more about the inner thoughts of our characters.


Hands and fingers, arms and legs.

If you point your finger at someone, this is generally seen as a threat. The finger acts like a weapon, usually a jabbing motion when people argue, and that’s a perc…