Speak up!

There is a style within writing that is unique to the writer. Unless one is completely mimicking another’s style, who we are as writers leaks into our work.

This is called the voicing of the book. The way the story sounds when read. I tend to write how I would talk, so my narration is relaxed and informal(Third person, not first). This means I use contractions outside and inside dialogue. There is no hard set rule whether or not I can or can’t, so long as I’m consistent and it sounds or reads well.

Everyone has different patterns to the words they use, how they lay it out and how they tell a story.  The authors voice is important. Which is why I took the advice ‘tell it how you would say it’ to heart.

There are authors out there that have written books that are very similar, in characters, story line and even settings. But none will be like over another simply based on how they voice the story. I’m not a fan of ‘word nerd’ writing where every other word seems to have been plucked out of a thesaurus or from the list of obsolete words. Unless it’s a historical story, I dislike dusty phrases or words that frankly nobody uses anymore. I’m not an idiot, I know what those words are, and how to use them. However if I can’t imagine someone speaking that way, scrunch my face at the pages when I come across to many in one chapter.

I was told that my writing voice is good, and that it’s clear I’m not attempting to copy someone else’s style and therefore it comes across as natural. This was high praise and it was what made me think more about it. It also made me realize that I have no desire to write in anyone else’s style but my own.

There is a lot to be said about how to write, what’s proper, what’s not, blah blah blah. What it boils down to, is my writing is by me, for me and from me. I write to please myself and logically there should/would/will be others that like it too. I write what I want to read. I like what I write and how I write it. This should, in my opinion, be true of every writer.

My advice about finding and using your own writing voice.
Write from the heart, with your soul and if you like what you write, others will too. The bottom line… just be yourself.


Other blog posts

Quirky little quirks

In the eye of the beholder

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That’s what she saw

Choosing a book’s POV, point of view is important. It is partly conveying I am as a writer. Sticking to the POV chosen is most important. Swapping or mixing is generally not a great idea. I have read stories that mix and it’s hard to read.

A frustrated reader isn’t reading. Third person POV is the style I write in. There are two types of third person. Third person Limited and Third person Omniscient.

Third person limited is the story revolving around one person. There is no conspiring behind their back, no major or minor events happening away from them. It’s not limiting, just restricted. Things can happen out of their eyesight (Unlike the first person) but the view of the story revolves around one character’s actions, thoughts, and emotions. You can still show the emotions of others.

Third person Omniscient allows the story to be told through multiple characters. Less is more. Two maybe three IMO.  Now some big famous authors do write with a plethora of characters view, however, they do one very important thing. They don’t mix the views. Some say keeping the views to separate paragraphs is good, and I agree it totally is if it’s one, two or maybe three and they are in the same room or area. However, if there are many characters being followed keeping each to their own chapter (unless they cross paths) is recommended. So if I were writing about Pirates and this part of the story was about a Pirate named Tapper who secretly refuses to rob and pillage, I would start the chapter off with   -Tapper-  that way the chapter is clearly labeled as from Tapper’s view. (This chapter labeling can also work really well for first person perspective if you have more than one character narrating.)

I use Omniscient in BiaAtlas, I have two main characters, a third that sort of gets a bit of alone time and a bunch of support characters. If I decide to give them the spotlight I am ultra careful to either use a new paragraph or they get a whole chapter to themselves.

In third person narrative, I as the writer know everything. Thoughts, emotions, actions and well everything. I can say, show and explain whatever I want to. As long as I stay out of my characters’ bodies/minds. No jumping into one’s mind and speaking from their view(that would be first POV)  This is harder than I thought. Filter words and emotional tags are a good indicator I’ve slipped to the wrong POV. It also means I’m being wordy and can remove some.

This is where Showing emotions instead of telling them comes into play. I talk about this all the time. Why? Because it is super important.

For example how not to third person…

Valery felt sad as she looked out the window feeling the cool glass against her forehead. “I feel helpless.” She couldn’t think of anything to do to help Sasha.
Jackson came up from behind sensing her distress and slid his arms around her. The draft from the window felt damp as it brushed his arms he could feel goosebumps rise on his skin.
“Ah baby, that you feel this way shows how good a friend you are. The police will keep her safe until they catch the guy.”
She didn’t think the police were as reliable as they used to be and snorted a response.
Jackson felt she needed a change of activity he wanted her to stop staring at the depressing rainy view.” Come away from the drafty window love.” (131)

Now I’ll take that rubbish and shift it to one POV, the third. Remove the filter words such as feel, felt, want and think…

Valery frowned as she looked out the window, the glass cool against her forehead. “I feel helpless.” Her mind stuck on her missing friend Sasha.
Jackson came up from behind and slid his arms around her. The damp draft from the window raised goosebumps on his arms. “Ah baby, that shows how good a friend you are. The police will keep her safe until they catch the guy.”
She snorted in response, her faith in the police not as strong as it used to be.
Jackson nudged her from the rainy dismal view outside. “Come away from the drafty window love.”  (101)

Not only did I remove 30 words from the original draft, but I managed to pull the reader out of the characters heads/bodies and let them be a part without jumping perspectives. I have to say once I figured out how to highlight the filter words all at once,(Well colour me silly) it made a huge difference in how I look at my sentences when revising a third person POV story.

My advice about 3rd person POV writing.
This is the most common for a reason but can be challenging. Stay focused and watch out for those damned pesky filter words and emotional ‘feelings’. 


Filter word blog post No “Filter Word” Parking Here
Dialogue Tag blog post Tag! You’re it. 
A showy Blog posShow and tell 
What I mean by Highlighting Filter words Well colour me silly

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What do you see?

POV. Point of view in the second perspective. I think writing in this point of view would be hard for many reasons. It is a narrative that talks to the reader as if they are experiencing the story. It requires assumption that the reader is okay with the story and choices being made for them. Now unless it’s a “choose your own destiny” book I personally don’t think that would go over well. People don’t generally like to be told what to do and how to feel.

Second person perspective uses the pronouns “You”, “Your” and “Your’s” to describe the central character. (the reader is the character…)

I would think this style shows up mostly in directions, advertising, emails, memos and songs. Maybe poetry?  I can’t say I’ve ever read a book entirely in the second perspective, I wonder if it would be odd? Or maybe uncomfortable? I’m going to have to find one I think and read it.

This perspective will stay outside all other characters and focus on the reader as the main. Telling instead of showing will be overly tempting and I wonder if it would be nearly impossible to not tell emotions or if you really can. Hmm. I’m going to have to go scifi-ish for this example.

When you woke this morning you probably didn’t expect to find yourself here. You opened the cover and now you are the sole guardian of the Omnis. The force of creation, the very being of the world you are imagining this very moment. The soft grass beneath your feet, the smell of life mixing on the cool breeze tempered by the salty sea in the distance. The pink and orange clouds in the evening sky casting their hue upon your skin. There is a temple not too far, hidden in the immense jungle before you. Making your way to it will be easy, unless you’re afraid of a challenge or two. Even when your soul leaves Somnium and you return to your body nestled in your so-called ‘real’ world you will take the Omnis with you.

Be aware the dark creatures that seek to destroy the Omnis. They will cause trouble and wreak havoc for you every day until you restore the balance. The lord will put a bounty on your head and they will hunt you relentlessly.
“Go on.”
What is this? Who said that you wonder.
“I’m Omnis, the source of creativity. With you I will defeat the empty darkness and banish the lord, Liber Mortis.”
You know what that is, it’s haunted you for weeks as you stare at the cursor on the screen. The words stuck unable to free themselves from your mind.
“He is there, and he has imprisoned you. Let’s go to the temple before it’s too late. Before all is lost.”

Yeah okay, that was not my best or even close to my favorite. I’m not sure I can or will ever write in this point of view for an entire book. Maybe if I put an email or letter in a book I might. I will definitely have to find a novel written in second perspective and see if it’s readable. I couldn’t see a way to incorporate second perspective into any of my writing unless it was a text or email. Maybe, but then it’s not really second POV is it? Hmm.

My advice about second point of view writing.
If it works for you, all the power to you. I don’t see myself writing this way for an entire novel but if you can go for it… I guess.


Other posts (not in 2nd POV)

Hold your tongue!

It’s funny you said that…

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What a view I have!

Point of View. This is a topic of great conversation. I have brushed on it multiple times in many blogs, but have not dived into it just yet. The point of view is the view or voice that the story’s narration is written.

When I write, I work hard to either stay in one POV or edit it back to one POV. BiaAtlas actually has two character POV. It started with three, but that was too much so I made it two. Honestly I’m happy with that and I still had a small sample of a third POV that I couldn’t quite get out completely. This is okay because I kept them separate from the others.

There are four types of POV writing, first, second, third – limited and third-omniscient. I will explain each but to give them proper attention and not have a mile long post, I’ll tackle one at a time.

Let’s talk about first person. First person writing is identified by the use of the pronouns I, My and Me.  (I see often when people mix first person and third, it’s a bit hard to digest.) From what I’ve seen first person is a go to for romance and erotica, likely because they involve a lot of feelings, characters inner thoughts and emotions. There are a lot of books written in first that are young adult and quite popular, they follow one character only and from their point of view they experience it all. Nothing can ever happen away from the main character when this is the View choice.

There was one horribly popular/famous “romance/erotica” series that I really wanted to like but couldn’t because of the lack of… a lot. Because of the limited POV anything exciting or interesting that happened had to be witnessed by the character. Nothing too interesting did, it was a lot of people telling the main character stories about what happened. Ugh… doooo something main character, be interesting.

Anyway I digress. First person writing can be liberating without having to worry about the show not tell rule when writing… um no, wait that still applies. It is tempting when writing in first to constantly tell. Now my writing is not in first person, but I’ll adapt a bit for this example.

I sat there in the dark counting my inhales and exhales. To say it was all I could do would be accurate. There was no light, no sound and nothing more than smooth cold floors and unforgiving walls. Well there was a door. The damned door with no handle, window or anything tangible. I left fear behind hours ago, well it seemed like hours ago. It could be minutes or even days for all I know. Go on the blind date they said, it will be fun they said. Sure if being locked in a light free room is fun. I suppose that counts. 

When the door opened I closed my eyes, resisting the instinct to look. I opened them slowly to adjust to the blaring beam of light.
“Get up.” Marko the abductor commanded. 
Gladly I thought. What Marko the asshole doesn’t know, might actually kill him. I shuffled to my feet looking as unimposing as possible. My shoulders taught and jaw clenched. He’d drugged me to get me here, it would be the only way. I was going home, unless he has a gun. I looked. No gun.
“Let’s go Brenda, I have a surprise for you.”
Oh I bet you do. I shuffled toward the door. The second I got close enough I reeled my right arm back, and slammed his head into the wall as hard as my five three frame would allow. It was enough. Marko slid to the floor after the sickening thud of his head on the door frame.
“Right.” I looked down at him.”Moron I’m special forces.” I pulled him into the room and closed the door behind me. Now to find a phone and call the police. 

Oh. That perspective is fun to write. I’ve never written in first, other than my blog posts. I feel like there is a possibility here to discover. I think I may have to give it some serious contemplation for my new book series I’ve been brainstorming about. In first person I have access to emotions, thoughts and the protagonist’s perspective. It was kind of like writing my thoughts, how I would think, behave, feel and act in a situation. Huh.

My advice about first person writing. 
If you do this, be consistent. Stay in the perspective of your main and if you divide between two, separate them by chapters to keep the readers from getting confused.  Oh and don’t forget to still show emotions.


Other posts I’ve written that other’s like;

Time to flip the switch

Shhh… Don’t say a word.

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