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Apr 25 2016

#atozchallenge U is for Understanding POV #Writing Point of View #WriteTip

#atozchallenge U is for Understanding POV #Writing Point of View #WriteTip

The craft of fiction writing is the Theme for the #atozchallenge 2016 on the blog of @JLenniDorner
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26 writing reference books containing 26 lessons leads to a month of #WriteTips and writing samples




Blue dragon reading image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

U is for “Understanding”
Book: Point Of View: Understanding Which P.O.V. is Best for Your Story and Using it Effectively by Alfie Thompson
My dice roll: 599 (ebook location out of 653)
Lesson: Some rules for effective POV

Avoid “felt” words, such as: felt, saw, thought, suspected, wondered, wished, figured, expected. Show us what’s going on in the mind or heart of the character.

Be careful when using “as if” in descriptions. “The car was old, as old as if Henry Ford himself had driven it off the assembly line.” That could be tweaked.

Characters should speak with the same voice as when they think, normally. Don’t change the vocabulary or accent, unless there’s a very good reason (like the character is lying about their identity).

Use the five senses to bring out details in a scene and reflect who the character is. Texture, shape, size, and smell are good descriptors.

Let thoughts, actions, and speech show emotions. Avoid emotional adverbs like angrily, happily, sadly, joyfully, etc.

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Wend’s car announced her arrival at the small blue house with a loud squeak from the brakes, a noisy puttering from the engine, and the door squealing in protest at being opened. Bits of rust crashed onto the pavement as she slammed the door shut and then pressed against it with her hip, until the latch finally clicked. She wiggled her key in the lock of the trunk. “Come on, Poppy Jalopy,” she said to the mostly reddish-orange car. The trunk finally gave way so she could retrieve her bag.

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Can you tell that Wend’s car isn’t brand new and perfect? Do you sense that she’s frustrated without the emotion being mentioned? Can you imagine what this car sounds like?

Have you ever watched the movie “Uncle Buck?”

What might be another example of a book or movie with a beat up car?




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8 comments

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  1. Sudha

    Love the example and the post! Cheers
    Sudha from
    Everyday Muse
    Sudha has this post to share AtoZChallenge: U is for UnexpectedMy Profile

  2. Deniz

    You’ve got some great links in your post! Love Uncle Buck 🙂
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  3. C.Lee McKenzie

    I’m quite taken with that dragon reading a book!
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  4. Random Musings

    Fab piece, so much better than saying “Wend was frustrated at her old banger!” I love that you illustrate the advice in a piece of writing
    Debbie
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  5. Stephanie Leland

    Great example! I could picture Wend and the car easily.
    Stephanie Leland has this post to share Wewriwa and the week that got awayMy Profile

  6. Juneta

    Some good things to think about and I am sure I am guilty of doing too. Good example. Never seen Uncle Buck.

    Beat up cars in books and movies? , well movies Transformers, Love Bug, Chitty, Chitty Bang, Bang,

    Books, Dresden files Jim Butcher — Dresden drives a beat up car which is in more than one book until it is destroyed but he gets another old car but it is not the same. The Walker Papers C E Murphy — The protagonist car is part of her character in a way it is always something she cares about do you do and its beat up and defines her personality.

    Great post.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit
    Juneta has this post to share Sneek PeekMy Profile
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  7. gail

    learning from example is very helpful. Your descriptive piece did the job!
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  8. Jemima Pett

    I do have trouble getting the characters to show their emotions without tagging them. But at least I know that – so it’s on my ‘edit’ list. Sometimes difficult when wanting to keep the action flowing, though!
    Jemima Pett
    Jemima Pett has this post to share W is for Windemere #atozchallengeMy Profile
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