writing

All posts tagged writing

Points of Views, Yours, Mine, Whoever

Published 25/11/2012 by julierkendrick

 

Point of view or POV was something I never really gave much thought to when I started out writing. Practically everything I wrote was in the third person and I was always quite happy with that. It was only when I started to write seriously that I found there were two other main POV’s in which I could write.

So what is POV and how does it impact on writing style and stories?

Third Person

This is where you have what is called a God’s eye view. You tell the story as an onlooker so you can see what everyone in your story does and get inside everyone’s heads. This type of narration is most commonly used in fiction as it is the one that provides the most flexibility to the author. As the storyteller you are the narrator and never actually become part of the story.

First Person

First person POV is where you are telling the story from your perspective, you will be a part of the story although not necessarily the main character. You may be a side character that watches the story unfold from a distance but nevertheless it is your story to tell.  However this can be quite limiting because you can only tell the story as you see it. You will not be able to tell the reader what others are doing when they are not in the scene as you will not be able to see them or get inside their heads.  This kind of information usually comes to light when other characters are speaking. A significant benefit from writing in the first person is that you can tell the story with deeper feeling as you are the one who is conveying how things and situations actually feel to you and the effects that this may or may not have in the story.  The use of taste, touch, smell etc are a wonderful way of describing your surroundings.  Another aspect that is worth considering is the fact that you are speaking directly to the reader and in this regard you must have fully fleshed out your character if you want your reader to symapthise with you; remember they are along with you for the ride and want to be as fully invested in the story as you are.  I have friends that will only pick up a book if it is written in the first person because they find they can relate better to the story if they are with the narrator on their journey.

Second Person

This is perhaps the most limiting of POV’s but also the most interesting, I think. It is where the author refers to one of the characters as “you”, making the reader feel as if they are being addressed personally.  You will see that this style is almost always used in song lyrics and on children’s television shows where the presenters act as if they are actually speaking through the TV at the child watching. It is an immediate engagement and I have found a great style to use for shock factor. In my story “Obsession” which was published in the book “House of Terrors“, I used the second person POV to portray the mindset of a stalker. Addressing the reader directly helped me to scare them by making them think that someone was actually after them. Similarly in my story “That Sinking Feeling” from the book “Picnic Nightmares” I used this POV to write as a serial killer. Of course if you are not a horror writer like myself, then this would be a lovely POV to use in romantic fiction. Once again you cannot jump heads or scenes that don’t involve the storyteller but once mastered this style is very rewarding to use.

These are the main POV’s but there are others. Third person single vision, multiple vision, first person present, first person past, and you can also jump heads using first person to third person and so on. There are many places to find out more information of these POV’s if you want to experiment with your narration but I hope that this had shed a little light on the subject for you, a springboard if you will, to greater things.

Good luck and please share your experiences.

Julie 🙂

My Characters Won’t Play With Me

Published 16/10/2012 by julierkendrick

 

Characters. Now there’s a descriptive word. When someone is described as a character it usually means that they are lively and unpredictable. Well my characters are just that.  As they are created by me they tend to act like me. That doesn’t mean that every character I create is a 40 something English female with 4 sons and 2 dogs, it just means that they are temperamental, just like me. And just like me they don’t always want to fit into the story lines that I give them. We even fight over this occasionally and it can get messy, with me threatening to delete them altogether. Then I invariably storm off in a huff and later decide to play it their way.

One such example is my new character, Warren. He is supposed to be the sex-god in my new novella which I was originally writing as a paranormal erotica. Sadly, Warren didn’t want me to watch him having sex with my heroine (what a cheek!). He was far too private. We argued and argued for almost a week and no writing got done. Warren was telling me that the story line just wasn’t working and reluctantly I had to admit he was right. He is now much happier that I am leaving him at the bedroom door to seduce the lady without spectators. So I am now writing a paranormal romance and feeling much happier with it.

However, that brings me to the question, should you always listen to your characters?  On this I am sure we could debate. A well known author friend of mine told me that she wanted one of her characters to feature in the next book of a trilogy, but in her words “he wouldn’t come out to play”. She had to rethink the story line a little but she tells me it is all the better for leaving him out.

Conversely I have had a character completely switch on me. In my story “Chuckles” which you can find in the anthology “Here Be Clowns” my protagonist was originally written as a victim of Chuckles. She played the part of the damsel in distress very well but once I had finished my first draft I decided I wanted her to have a meatier role. I rewrote her part and ‘boom’ the story was complete and accepted rather quickly.

I think that debating with your characters is a big part of the creative process. It certainly is for me. It means that my creations have life, personalities, opinions and direction and that must mean I am on the right track to creating something worth reading. I’ll leave that for you to decide and I’ll keep you posted on Warren.

J 🙂

Learning to write by reading

Published 11/10/2012 by julierkendrick

I would say that all writers (and I would be surprised if anyone disagrees) are avid readers. One of the ways you start to understand your love of writing is from reading the things you love to read, whether that be novels, stories, newspaper or anything else with writing on.

Stephen King has a lot to answer for. In a good way. Not only has he written many many fabulously thrilling books but he has also penned a book on how he does it “On Writing” is definitely on my bucket list to read, I mean who wouldn’t want a peep into the mind of the horror master.

Anyway I found this very interesting article where Damien Echols tells us how reading Mr King taught him to write.

Have a read and feel free to comment below.

Click here

A grey area

Published 03/10/2012 by julierkendrick

Well I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it forever as much as I tried.

Yep, I was never going to be able to write this blog without at least one reference to the phenomena known at the 50 Shades trilogy. I have had many a discussion with my friends of the merits (or lack thereof) of these books and they all know exactly how I feel about them.

When working in the bookshop we had to stock hundreds and hundreds of copies and I felt embarrassed having to sell them. No, not because I am a prude, far from it. I was embarrassed that a bookshop of the calibre of Waterstones had to sell this tripe. My manager, quite rightly said, “Just think of all the money we are making.” But I cringed every time I sold them.  It got to the point where women would come into the shop looking curious and before they had a chance to say a thing I would just point to the shelves where Mr Grey lived and watched them dribble their way over.

I find it incredible that a book promoting sexual abuse of a vulnerable (but dim) girl in the name of ‘lurve’ is acceptable, nay craved. I can only console myself with the fact that maybe the majority of people who read it just didn’t get it.

Anyway, I don’t want to alienate all my blog readers so I’ll shut up now, but maybe you can have a read of this article on a signing E L James did in California. It amused me.

See ya soon

Julie 😉

Book vs Film controversy

Published 30/09/2012 by julierkendrick

Ah a truer word was never said.  Well actually loads of truer words have been said but these particular true words are what this blog is about.

Ever since books have been made into movies people have been saying, including myself  “Ah but the book was so much better.”  Book purists will probably go to a movie, having read the book, expecting it to be substandard in comparison. There are many examples I can give where I truly believe the film adaption (and there’s a word I will be coming back to later) has not done the original book justice.

The Woman in Black for one. Susan Hill has written a fantastically dark, scary and atmospheric book and I was actually looking forward to seeing the movie. The film industry does dark and atmospheric pretty well, what could go wrong?

Daniel Radcliffe for a start. Now I have nothing against Mr Radcliffe; he is a pretty good actor but for the time being he is Harry Potter and will be until he gets some lines on his face and stops looking like a 12 year old wizard. The role of Arthur Kipps should have been played by a slightly older character and I kept expecting Kipps to yell “Avada Kedavra” at the ghostly woman.

Radcliffe aside, the film failed to truly scare me, unlike the book which had me leaving the light on by my bed all night (and I’m 42). Now I find this  strange as the film industry has all the props in the world to scare the bejesus out of me but only managed a mild hiccup of a jump.

However, my main problem with this, and many other films that fall into this category  is that they changed the ending. Why oh why oh why? When you know that thousands of movie goers will have read the book why change the ending? I’m willing to bet that 100% of those viewers will be disappointed. The ending is usually the reason they go to see the film in the first place.  If they had felt let down by the finale in the book then the film would not inspire excitement in the first place.

But hey, I didn’t set out to slate the Woman in Black in this blog, as I stated before, many films fall into this category this was just the first that came to mind. But my recommendation here would be, read Susan Hill’s books as she is a fantastic writer and you will never be disappointed.

So back then, to that little word I mentioned above, adaption. I think that this is where the movie makers think that they have us fooled.  As long as they use the words “adapted from the book by……” or “based on the book by…….” we have no cause for complaint because they never said we were getting the real thing anyway. So there! It looks like we will be disappointed movie watchers for a while yet then.

But ah ha!! There is another phenomenon that swings in and saves the day. The film into book version. Now this is more like it. I can go to watch a movie without any preconceptions and then if I like it I can read the book, which of course will be fabulous because it will have been written from the film. Happy bunnies all round. One example I can give of this is The Cabin in the Woods. I have yet to see this film but of my friends who have they all raved about it and then went out and bought the book; so far no one is disappointed.

I must add at the bottom here that of course there are exceptions. The Green Mile for one. This is a truly magnificent film with amazing actors playing their parts stupendously well. I have seen this film many times and cry every time. I have also read the book and it remains one of my favourites to this day.

So you see it can be done, just not often enough for my liking.

What do you think? Film or book or both?

See you next time

Julie 🙂

Let’s Eat Grandma

Published 23/09/2012 by julierkendrick

 

 

I lot of you will know exactly where I am going with this post. Yep that’s right grammar and spelling. I have to say that it is my biggest gripe. Bad spelling and grammar set my teeth on edge and if my father was still alive his blood would boil. My friends know how much of a stickler I am for correct English and take the mickey out of me relentlessly. The trouble with setting yourself up as a grammar Nazi is that should you make one tiny mistake the whole world comes down on you like a ton of bricks. No longer can I make a simple typo without hearing my own rantings reflected back at me. No longer can I shorten words in text speak without fingers pointing and heads shaking. But you know what? I can deal with all that as long as people take more care over their own English. I saw a picture on Facebook today and it tickled me. The quality of the photo was not very good so I will give you the gist;

————————————————————————————————-

Girl – I hate peeple who talk rubbish

Boy – *people

Girl – Shut up Danel I’m cross, I’m not looking at my spell check.

Boy – *Daniel

Girl – Stop! Just get of my page

Boy – *off

Girl’s mum – Daniel please stop, she is having a hard time and we are helping her threw something right now

Boy – *through

Girl – Daniel now your messing with my family, just stop.

Boy – You’re as in you’re making this too easy for me

————————————————————————————————-

Now if this was a true conversation I love that boy. I would be proud to call him my son but he is a pedant and I am not ashamed to say that so I am.

One of my catchphrases that I seem to use a lot with my Facebook chums is “The comma is your friend”.

Unfortunately with the advent of texting and social media, brevity seems to be the most important thing now rather than the correct use of the language. Everyone knows that ‘yr’ covers your, and you’re so there is no need to know the difference any more, numbers count as letters ‘c u l8r’ is ‘see you later’. Even ‘OK’ has been shortened to ‘K’.

So is the English language dying? Some would say that it is always evolving and changing and ‘thou would not be erroneous in that supposition’, but is this evolution or just laziness? My feeling is that it is laziness and I do have to admit my guilt with regard to the text situation but I would not dream of using these shortened words in my ‘real’ life. My emails and letters are always written using correct English with commas, semi colons and everything and I for one and proud of that fact.

English is a beautiful language and I just hope and pray that the future generations don’t destroy it.

Anyway it’s lunch time so ‘Lets eat, Grandma’.

J 🙂