Tense and Person

When writing a story, before even getting into the writing, there are some important choices to make. Aside from the plot, I mean, that’s kind of central to the whole thing. But you need to decide how you’re going to write it. Two of the most basic things are the tense you’re going to use, and what point of view the story will be told from.

I’m not sure how it is for other people, but for me this is often an instinctive decision,one I barely even think about. I use different tenses and points of view for different stories, but I just sort of decide automatically whether I’ll be using third person past tense, first person past tense, or first person present tense for whatever particular one I’m writing. Those are the ones I use.

But I think it’s probably a choice which requires a bit more thought than that. Sometimes I have had to change my original choice because I’ve realised it’s just not working. Maybe if I’d thought a bit more to begin with then… well, I may well still have had to change it. You don’t always get things right first time – in fact, you’re certain to get at least some things wrong on your first attempt to write a story.

But the fact remains that these are things that deserve thought. I’d say most stories can probably work in different tenses and points of view, but such a fundamental thing is going to have a big effect on the writing, obviously it is. I state the obvious quite a lot, don’t I? So this post is just going to be me musing about the benefits and drawbacks of different tense/point of view combinations. I claim no authority on the subject, it’s just, as I may, my musings.

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Scrapbook 2014

I’ve decided to do another post on what I consider to be the improvement in my drawing, except this time I’m not going to use them as decoration and examples for a wordy blog post, I’m just going to post them up. I’ll be using pictures from across last year. I draw a fair amount, and I never share them. I stick some of them in a scrapbook so I can see my own progress – which is where I’ll be getting pictures from for her – but I hardly ever show them to anyone else.

So why not? Even if my drawing is terrible (and I know at least some of it is), what harm could it do? I think I’ve had a noticeable improvement, at least. I may still not be any good – I really don’t know actually. I know no-one would ever pay me to draw for them, but I don’t know if I’m bad. And I say that because some of the pictures from early last year look like deformed monstrosities to me now, but at the time I must have thought they were at least OK – I might put something I’m not completely happy with in the scrapbook, but if it’s really bad I just crumple it up and throw it away. So what looks decent to me now, may in fact be an assault to the eyeballs of anyone who isn’t me.

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Ireland – 2012

These are some photos from a holiday to Donegal in autumn 2014. I didn’t call the post ‘Donegal’ because not all of the pictures are from there, and I added the year because, while I don’t know if we’ll be going anywhere at all for a while, we have been to Ireland enough that I feel a need to specify which trip this was, in case we do go again and I want to blog about that.

Anyway, may as well get going. First, a few pictures I took on the ferry, both there and back.

DSCF2147 DSCF3007

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Killing Characters

One of the more daunting parts of writing a story is when it comes to killing off characters. Characters who you’ve grown attached to, the main or supporting cast, sometimes even the villains.

So is it actually necessary to kill off characters?
Well, that depends on the type of story, what kind of mood you want to go for. A work doesn’t have to be gloomy and dark to be worthwhile. But in other stories, it is appropriate and sometimes even advisable to kill someone off.

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Autumn 2014

I posted precisely nothing in November. I’ve been trying to get something up every month, but last month I didn’t even come onto WordPress. There was a reason for this, it was actually planned; I was doing NaNoWriMo, so all my focus was on that. I would have mentioned it in my last post, but last year I failed miserably, and I didn’t want to mention it in case I did again. But I didn’t, as it was, I actually did quite well, I feel.

Anyway. I’m going to try and do at least three posts this month to make up for it. And since we’re now in December, I’ll do my seasonally ‘photos from last season’ post first.

So, I’ll do these in date order. A couple of random pictures to start with:

This is the best picture of a heron I have ever managed to get. I'm not an amazing photographer.

This is the best picture of a heron I have ever managed to get. I’m not an amazing photographer.

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Naming Characters

I have a bad habit.

I have more than one bad habit, in fact I have many. But the specific bad habit I was referring to is in regards to naming my characters.

I’ve always had a fondness for interesting names. Rare names I found by going through a name dictionary, or object names, or things I just flat out made up.

I don’t think there’s a lot wrong with doing this sometimes. After all, some parents do give their kids unusual or unique names. It’s fair enough that the occasional character would have such parents. More than the occasional character; I don’t think it destroys believability to have a bit of a higher rate of unusual names than in real life.

There are, however, a few things which I think ought to be taken into account when deciding whether to give a character a standard name, an unusual name, or a name that is just flat out unique.

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