Monday, July 27, 2015

Mr. Cizak's Writing Tips #1

I'm not the biggest fan of writers telling other people how to write, but I figured I might offer up a tip once a
week or so, and so, here's the first one:

If you are writing in third person close pov, you don't need to tell the reader your protagonist "thought" something. For example:

Bill thought Felicia had a pretty mouth.

If Bill is the POV character, than any commentary on anything else will be attributed to Bill since it's his mind we're in. I see this quite a bit as an editor at Pulp Modern. POV characters constantly telling the reader they thought this and that. It's wasted words. Just make the observation, the reader will figure out it's the POV character's thoughts. Sometimes I'll put the POV character's thoughts in italics, especially if the character's speaking voice and narrating voice are different (i.e., unreliable), hence:

Felicia spoke in a French accent. She asked Bill what he was doing in New Jersey.

"Visiting my nephew," said Bill. "He's a leprechaun from Hoboken." You sure got a pretty mouth.

"Fascinating," said Felicia.

In fact, POV characters often get too many attribute phrases and sentences. I'll go into that more in a later tip.

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