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I studied Computer Science at university.

This required all kinds of mathematics like proof by induction, statistics, a lgorithms etc.

So how on earth did I become  a writer?

The truth is that I could talk before I could walk. And when I spoke it was in complete sentences, or so my parents say. I didn’t stumble over my words. I told people exactly what I was thinking exactly when I wished to. And then one day I picked up a pen.

 

I wish I could say I remember the first time I attempted to write or, something cute like that, but I don’t. What I do remember is spending much of primary school writing stories whenever I got the opportunity, and that habit stuck with me through high school all the way to university. I even had my notebook taken away from me in high school when I was writing in it instead of working.

At the age of 9 I was exposed to Greek Mythology for the first time. Unbeknown to me, it was exactly what I would need to learn about world building. I love the stories of Jason and the Argonauts (Greek: Iason) , Perseus and Medusa, Hercules (Heracles), the tale of Persephone and Hades, and so much more.

Authors like Rick Riordan, Anthony Horowitz, Eoin Colfer, Melissa Marr, Julie Kagawa, Melissa de la Cruz and Meg Cabot all shaped who I became as a writer. But none of them looked like me.

There aren’t many black female authors out there in fantasy. It’s a genre that has been stereotypically been taken over by older white men like George RR Martin.

I got two emails from readers of my short story, More Than Skin Deep. Both appreciated me as a writer, and one even called me a heroine. And for the first time I realised how much of a responsibility it is to be a black female fantasy writer.

So I write for myself, but I also write for other black people, to pave the path for other people like me who want to become writers but are too scared because they see the industry is full of predominately white males.

I write because it is my passion and it makes me happy.

Summer holidays have always been encompassed by disappointing weather and dithering about whilst simultaneously attempting to convince myself that doing nothing for a whole month was what I really wanted. A longer holiday than usual might have been a dream come true for my former self, but now that I’ve experience the wonders of independecne from my parents, going back under their roof might as well have been purgatory.
At least I had Snapchat as a means of escapism.

A third year Computer Science friend of mine, recently graduated, told me that I’d want to pull out my own hair within two weeks. He was wrong. I want to pull out my little sister’s hair within only a few days.
Mind you, I didn’t do absolutley nothing during the holiday. I participated in CampNaNo in July and “won” after writing 35,000 words; secured a voluntary job in August and went to Bournemouth and Leeds Castle with my family; caught up with some old friends; and found a way to combine my love of CS and writing. 

Family time is still important, regardless of age. My family went out on a weekend to Bournemouth. They were having some sort of celebration/ military fair type thing, hence the tank.

Who doesn’t love a good firework display? Add a bit of live music and dinner at a restaraunt, and it made for a really good night with the family unit.

So why the bitching? I missed the uni life.
They don’t warn you how much you will miss being at university. All your educational life, you’ve been counting down the days to summer. And why not? Most everybody else seems to have gone abroad, or to some other sort of trip. Whether it was Soul Survivor, the Duke of Edinburgh, or The Challenge, everyone else is having more fun than you. And if you never felt that way, then you were probably the rich bastard I was always jealous of.

The number one problem with parents is usually curfews. Now, granted that you actually have somewhere to be (I know I never did), this had different repercussions for different people. But once you’ve experienced the freedom of living away from parents, there really is no going back. It’s like trying to shove the toothpaste back in the tube. It ain’t happening.
Except it does. Slowly. But then the toothpaste is never the same again.

When I got back home I didn’t ask for permission to go out. I told them I was going out. (Unless I needed money from then, in which case, I needed to warn them further in advance.)
My parents never spoke to me about alcohol. It was an unspoken rule. Don’t drink. Ever. I was underage so they figured I wouldn’t, and I didn’t. Yeah, I’m just that boring. So when my friend called me at the last minute, asking if I wanted to go to the pub sometime in July, I wasn’t certain I’d be allowed, but I was 18, dammit! I was ready to hold my ground.
I don’t know if any of these restrictions apply to you, but I think we can all agree as young adults, that parents can be really boring and stuffy at times. My life had gone from society meetings and house parties to cooking dinner being the highlight of my day.

Don’t do what I did. Don’t wait forever to think up of alternative options for that summer job you applied to. Make something of your holiday. Something you can be proud to write on your CV, or even something you can just rememeber fondly– future employers be damned!
Summer holidays needn’t be a limbo state as you await the next year at uni. Get a job or start a new hobby. Further your studies in your own time. If you make something of it, it needn’t be a state of purgatory.
I’m just glad all the moaning about wanting to come back to uni was worth it.
They tell me Second Year is harder. I guess I’ll find out just how much harder it is.

I’m roughly in the final quarter of my third draft (which might as well be a first because it is a complete re-write) and I’ve reread some of my stuff and I’ve noticed a bunch of inconsistencies. This brought me to wondering about plot holes and this is what I have found out during my search.

But what is a plot hole? A plot hole can be an inconsistency in your novel, or an unanswered question of sorts that isn’t done on purpose as some sort of cliffhanger. Here are other ways of finding out if you have a plot hole:

  Unaccounted for characters & Subplots

 A well-liked, or particular quirky character goes off on a subplot mission. We never hear from them again. In some cases, this can be okay. In reality things do not always go according to plan. In the world of fiction, however, things can be smoothed out better. It might be okay to leave the character to dissapear somewhere. Maybe they die on their mission. Maybe they lose communication. But you need to at least mention them at some point so we know their status. Subplots are sometimes used to parallel with the main plot, or more often than not, it is a romantic subplot. In a romance novel, however, the romance is the main plot, and the subplot might be anything from a mystery to a work related problem the main character is having. Whatever a subplot may be, it ought to be
Small part characters like fellow classmates or co-workers your main character is not friends with don’t matter so much. I really don’t need to know how the day went for the pizza delivery guy.
Unaccounted main characters, however, are even worse that supporting characters. Your readers have invested a lot of time and emotions into them, so they deserve to know what became of them.

Unexplained Motivations

When creating a multifaceted character, contradictions may occur. People do not always participate in activities they believe in. For instance, if your character is subjected to peer pressure, they may be persuaded to do something like drinking alcohol when in actual fact they may have religious or other personal reasons to be against drinking. 
A plot hole occurs when a character does something out of character that is then left unexplained. You may have a villain who decides to blow up a building ‘for the evulz’ and leave it at that. So long as his future actions are consistent with his character, this is fine. He may go on to commit a string of crimes ‘for the Evulz’. You cannot, however, have a villain with a sound, well thought out plan, who decides he wants to take over a multi-millionaire company decide to blow up a building ‘for the evulz’ and just leave it at that. Your readers can’t suspend their sense of disbelief enough to allow something like this. 
So to round that off, make sure that your characters are motivated enough to do the things that they do, and you take the time to explain it at some point, or else it will come across as just random.   

 Rules of Logic 

Fiction means that the events in the novel never really happened. This does not however allow you to throw out all the rules of logic. Sure, you can rethink the laws of gravity, or even the laws of time and space as we know it. But they must have some sort of logic. In fantasy novels, there is usually some sort of Magic System. This Magic System may not be explored thoroughly – it all depends on how much your main characters interact with said magic – but you should have some sort of logic in mind. Magic always comes with a price. 
But what if your novel doesn’t use magic? Well, there are still bound to be some kind of rules. If the novel is set during a particular period, it ought to follow many of the conventions. If for some reason it does not at some point, your reader needs to know why. 

It has come to my attention that I haven’t given any writing advice in a long time. I myself am still learning an awful lot. I’ve been writing the same book for 4 years now and I’m on my third draft, so I’ve learned a thing or too on my journey towards the promised land of the published world.
One thing that has come to my attention whilst reading a How to Write book, “Dynamic Characters” by Nancy Cress, was the difference between close and distant point of views in third person. Of course I say third person because it is pretty much a given that first person is going to be a Close POV.

Distant POV

Let us start with distant POV. Point of view is the lens through which the writer, or narrator, sees everything. Reimagine the last movie you saw. The director no doubt uses many different kinds of shots. Wide shots are often used at the beginning of a movie to establish the setting. It might again be used later during the epic fight-off. Of course I have The Avengers in mind here, where the director used a mixture of wide-shots and close-shots to show the alien invasion of the chitauri. But how does this apply to the written word of fiction?

Nancy Kress states in Dynamic Characters that:

“Distance is the measure of how far away you, the author, are standing from your character as you tell the story.”

A distant POV is less popular in modern contemporary writing but it is still important to be aware of. It is more common when the external conflicts are more important than internal conflicts. The danger here though is getting the readers to truly sympathise with the characters. A friend lent me a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone a few years ago and I found that I felt too detached from Harry to really care. I could sympathise with him through many of his difficulties, and the abuse he suffered at the hands of his aunt, uncle and cousin, but I couldn’t feel WITH him and truly empathise.

In a distant POV, we might see and hear the same things as the main character, but we won’t be aligned with his thought processes. The narrative is separate from what the character is thinking and feeling. I have already mentioned it’s disadvantage but one of it’s advantages is that it enables you to concentrate on the action. This can add speed to the novel, which is ideal in an action book.

One example I would give is Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series. Here is an extract from the first book, Stormbreaker:

He rolled out of bed and walked over to the open window, his bare feet pressing down the carpet pile. The moonlight spilled on to his chest and shoulders. Alex was fourteen, already well-built, with the body of an athlete. His hair, cut short apart from two thick strands hanging over his forehead, was fair. His eyes were brown and serious. For a moment he stood silently, half-hidden in the shadow, looking out. There was a police car parked outside. From his second-floor window Alex could see the ID number on the roof and the caps of the two men who were standing in front of the door. The porch light went on and, at the same time, the door opened.  

The first thing I should say is, a character wouldn’t describe themselves in this kind of detail, and certainly for no good reason. Alex isn’t dressing up for some party and checking himself out before heading out. He’s waking up at three in the morning because a couple of police officers are there with bad news. Similarly, when Horowitz then goes on to describe Alex’s housekeeper with this much detail, it is clear that this is the narrator speaking, and not the character.
Although this is a short extract, you should notice how Alex’s feelings and emotions are not in the equation. We see Alex from the outside. This is what distant POV is.

Close POV

In the debate between showing vs. telling, a close POV can help a writer SHOW the character’s thoughts. A close POV allows readers to delve into the minds of a character. Close POV is not quite first person, and it must be thought of as a camera mounted by your character’s head. We see and hear what your characters see and hear. The advantage of a close POV in third person is that you can get many of the same advantages of writing in first person, with the added benefit of being able to change character perspectives without confusing your reader. It is much easier to change a “she” to “he” perspective that an “I” to “I” perspective. That isn’t to say, of course, that it’s impossible. It just means limiting how often you change perspectives, and giving your charcaters more distinctive voices.

Here is an interesting extract from The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, because I think he uses the 3rd person close POV rather effectively:

Leo’s tour was going great until he learned about the dragon.
The archer dude, Will Solace, seemed pretty cool. Everything he showed Leo was so amazing it should’ve been illegal. Real Greek warships moored at the beach that sometimes had practice fights with flaming arrows and explosives? Sweet! Arts-and-crafts sessions where you could make sculptures with chain saws and blowtorches? Leo was like Sign me up! The woods were stocked with dangerous monsters, and no one should ever go in there alone? Nice! And the camp was overflowing with fine-looking girls. Leo didn’t quite understand the whole related-to-the-gods business, but he hoped that didn’t mean he was cousins with all these ladies. That would suck. At the very least, he wanted to check out those underwater girls in the lake again. They were definitely worth drowning for.
A lot of the language the narrator employs is the same kind of diction the character would use. At this point, the main character, Leo Valdez, is about 16 years old. He uses slang like ‘dude’, ‘cool’ and ‘suck’. He describes the girls as ‘fine-looking’ rather than something more formal than ‘beautiful’ or ‘exquisite’. And a cliche like ‘so amazing it should’ve been illegal’ sounds rather like a teenager. The passage above is also interspersed with rhetorical questions describing the things of interest to the character. When he travels around camp, he makes note of many of the dangerous thins flaming arrows and explosives. It’s quite possible that there are many other more normal things at the camp, but Leo only cares for the things that appear to him as larger than life.
 Another thing to notice is the lack of tags. The author doesn’t write ‘he thought’ any point, which suggests a very close POV. Is it the narrator who thinks the underwater girls are worth drowning for? Is it Leo? Is there a difference between Leo and the narrator? When you notice that there is little difference between the narrator and the character, this is when you truly know that the POV is close, and tags are no longer needed.
But what about books where there seems to be a lot of tags and italicised thoughts where we still gain a great insight into the character’s minds? This is the middle POV.

Middle POV

I haven’t been able to find any articles or blog posts about this POV but it has been mentioned before. As you would imagine, Middle POV is somewhere between distant POV and close POV. We are given an inisight into the character’s thoughts from time to time, but there is a clear narrator feeding us the information. This is useful in keeping a sort of even tone throughout the novel, whilst also making us aware of the characters and their developments.

Middle POV is likely to use tags or italicise. Tags include, but are not limited to phrases like ‘he thought’, ‘he wondered’, ‘he mused’, and ‘he realised that’.

In my opinion, I think that Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series are in middle distance POV. Here is an extract from the second book in the series, Ink Exchange:

While Niall may have rejected the Dark Court so very many years ago, he was still connected to them. It was his rightfuly court, where he belonged whether or not he chose to accept it.
As does Leslie. She might not know it, might not realise it, but something in her had recognised Irial as a fitting match. She’d chosen him. Not even riding with Gabriel’s Hounds was as satisfying as knowing that the little mortal was soon to be his, as knowing that he’d have her as a conduit to drink down emotions from mortals. The hints and teasing tastes he’d already been able to pull through her were a lovely start to how it would soon be. The Dark Court had fed only on fey for so long that finding nourishment from mortals had been lost to them – until Rabbit had started doing the ink exchanges. So much would be better once this exchange was finished. And she might be strong enough to handle it. Now he just had to wait, bide his time, fill in the hours until she was fully his. 
Idly, Irial needle Niall, “Shouldn’t you have a keeper or something, boy?”
“I could ask the same of you.” Niall’s expression and tone were disdainful, but his emotions were in flux. Over the years, the Gancanagh had continued to worry over Irial’s well-being – though Niall would never say it aloud – and something had made that worry far more pronounced than usual. Irial made a note to ask Gabriel to look into.

Now this is a fairly long passage, so bare with me.
I feel that some of what is stated is for the benefit of the reader. Irial knows how the Dark Court – the faeries he rules over – functions. His musings over how the court used to work, in comparison to his current situation, are more for the readers, so we can see just how bad things are. These thoughts are objective, and read a lot more like the narrator than the character.
 If this was in close POV, we would be feeling his emotions as he mused over the past. Instead, we seem to just hover outside his head, with the occasional delving into his personal thoughts, which are highlighted in italics.
When Irial interacts with his once-lover and close friend, Niall, now sort-of-enemy, we perceive that he cares about Niall, but we don’t literally feel his concern.

I hope that this was helpful. Another useful thing to know is the difference between Limited and Omniscient perspectives. Hopefully I’ll talk about this next week. For now, please just drop me a comment and let me know if my advice was helpful.
Thank you for reading 🙂

Related articles I recommend:

http://letthewordsflow.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/point-of-view-first-person-third-person-or-objective/

http://kristenstieffel.com/the-difference-between-third-person-pov-and-deep-pov/

http://theeditorsblog.net/2011/11/16/deep-pov-whats-so-deep-about-it/

Many people seem to picture writers as these desperately lonely creatures either high on opium or coffees, mostly likely tearing their hair out as they attempt to reach a deadline. They think us as hermits who only leave to acquire supplies for our art– be that more pen and paper, or more coffee, or a joint.

 This is all partly true.

During times like National Noveling Writing Month when we are writing against time to reach 50k in November we very may lock ourselves away and threaten to destroy anything or anyone that may distract us. Some of us are rather aloof or solitude on the whole, even we require others to commune with and discuss our art.

Don’t be a hermit unless it’s NaNo.

We crave to be with others to discuss the bitter pain of our manuscript revision, that character who takes over our plot, that love triangle we can’t dissolve, or that god forsaken writer’s block. And this my friends is why you need to join some sort of writing community.

But what about your fear of criticism you may ask? What about the image of the destitute, suffering artist? My advice: Don’t make the writing process harder than it needs to be. Interact with others of your own species! Join a writing website! Join a Google Circle, a Facebook Group. If you’re not too uncomfortable around people, join something like a university creative writing society! I have, and mine is awesome 🙂

The brilliance of something like a writing society, be that an official group where you meet face to face, or one where you only talk online, is that it brings people of different backgrounds with different writing styles together. And you get to talk hours on end about writing. Or avoid it if that’s what you prefer, haha!
At my Creative Writing Society, we have readings, and we give feedback to one another. Now this is just as daunting as it sounds. You sit there with these strangers and read you work. Out Loud. And they comment and critique it. To your face.

But I prefer anonymity

This is perfectly reasonable and for that you’ll be requiring a website to join. I recommend the likes of fictionpress, wattpad, movellas, and figment. There you can choose to give us much or as little information about yourself as you like, and you don’t have to go through the terrifying process of actually reading your writing out loud.

Out there be monsters…

The benefits of something like a society, or a group in general that you meet face to face is that over time you can really get to know some very interesting people, and you can grow to trust them. The dangers the web include the likelihood of someone stealing your work, unless it’s like movellas.com and people can’t just copy and past you work directly. The danger with anonymity is that people can abuse this and so horrible things about your work and because they think they can get away with it simply because they’re behind this mask.

And these are the tasteful shenanigans my Creative Writing Society were upto during Valentine’s Night…

Basically, we made cynical Valentine’s cards. Woo us! All alone the most “romantic” day of the year, but at least we were alone together!


I swear I didn’t write this one: 

Despite how wrong it is, it really reminds me of A Game of Thrones wih Jaime Lannister and his sister Cersei!

And these are the totally normal things we occasionally do at my CWS and why you should have a bunch of friends to talk about writing with.

 

What’s Love Got to Do With it?

So today is Valentine’s Day. Spring is near– though with all these obscene rain, it’s practically impossible to believe, and until it snows, I can’t move on from winter. And love is in the air. And it sickens me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love love, but if you’re one of the many people feeling left out, you’re likely to give into cynicism. That’s why I’ll be at my Creative Writing Society meeting, where we can get all creative with our cynicism. And that’s what you should be doing too!

Beauty Is Pain

Now I’m not asking you to fill your writing with pissed off characters who try to wreck love for other couples, but I am talking about writing out your pain. Every character you write will have a trace of your own personality, or your repressed feelings and worries, or your beliefs. Each character is a part of you, and so one of the best ways to make them life-like is to draw out your own emotions into them.

We Feed on the Weak

Now the one fear with writing from your soul is criticism. You have to be aware that no matter how sincere you try to make your writing, there will always be critics and you have to be ready for that, whether it be to prepare to ignore them, or take the criticism like a champ and try harder next time. Writing from your pain can open up a doorway to a hurt you thought long ago closed. I know the feeling. I’ve tried writing what I hoped to be “deep” poems, originating from trials of my own. Though the heart wrenching ache was not quite as bad, it was still there– this ghostly numbness. It can be distressing and sometimes it can be too distressing for your readers too.

Conceal It. Don’t Feel It. Don’t Let Them Know. 

Yes, I did get the above line from Disney’s Frozen, and like Elsa, the princess and would-be-queen, as a writer, we all have to wear our own thin veneer to keep the readers just a little bit distanced from the true reality of our soul. That’s why we have our characters. There is a thin line between using your emotions to build a character to life-like proportions, and letting your emotions overpower the novel. Your characters shouldn’t be exactly like you, or else it wouldn’t be completley original. And come on, could you imagine writing a novel with a character who’s past boyfriends or girlfriends and conquests had the same details as those of your own? We don’t need to read your diary– we want to read your novel. Or poem, or script, whatever format it may be.

How to Write it Out

An English teacher of mine gave us this useful advice during the stressful times of A-levels, back at sixth form. She advised us to keep a diary, and of course to write regualarly. Obvious, right? But it was the method that intrigued me. She told us to write continuously for about 10-15 minutes, and interestingly enough, NOT to have prepared anything beforehand.
What came out was this rush of words, in a voice that sounded so naturaly becuase I was literally writing as I was thinking. And it was strange how my mind flitted across to so many subjects and people in a short space of time– much more than if I had prepared my topic in advance.
Another piece of advice she gave us was to write in the 3rd person, to distance yourself from, well, yourself! Other interesting ways would be to change tenses.
For me, personally, I had a very emotional first week at university, getting to grips with living on my own. So one strange night I woke up at maybe 2AM in the morning and wrote out this really long, really angry poem. And you know what? It was cathartic. And that’s the beauty of writing– it’s therapeutic. 

All too often, writer’s get stuck when writing. Sometimes it’s easy to overcome, other times it’s much trickier. When you can write about almost anything you want, you would think that the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, it is the writer who determines how far they can go. So what do I do to overcome writer’s block?

  1. I give it a break. This can be helpful if you’ve been writing for a long time and if you take some time off, you may feel a lot more able when you come back to it. This is not helpful when you have a deadline to make, however. 
  2. I write from another character’s perspective. Exploring how other character’s feel about events can open up doorways into a process of thinking that you might not have otherwise thought of. I would like to warn you not to get too carried away though.
  3. Write another part of your story. Who says you have to write everything in chapter order? Right now I’ve written chapter 9 without yet finishing chapters 7-8. Heck, I’ve written chapter 14, but now most of the chapters between that! When you are the writer, you ar win control. Well, most of the time. Your characters may feel that it is up to them to lead you in the write direction.
  4. Talk to your characters. I know this may seem a little crazy, but I read somewhere that Stephen King did this. I’m not entirely true if it’s accurate but I gave it a shot, when I was alone, thankfully. It seemed to work for me. Pretending that your characters a real can help you empathise with them. (ah! Just nearly got struck by Stefan, who’s insisting he’s real!) 
  5. I read my chapters out loud to myself. I find that it’s like when I compose and playback sections of the song to myself. I hum a tune and see if it works with what I’ve previously composed. The same can be said for writing. Reading it out loud brings the story to life in a way, keeping it in your head doesn’t. Plus it helps if you’re as egotistic as me. I’m in love with my own voice. You may disagree with the quality of it if I ever get my audio produced. 
Well that’s all I can think of for now. Sorry, if it doesn’t help. I’m happy for you if it does.
Don’t let writer’s block tackle you, tackle IT! 
Mufunde, out
x

There is nothing worse than a two dimensional Mary-Sue character. For those of you who don’t know, a Mary-Sue, or a Marty Stu if they are male. (Here is a link to a test to see if your character is a Mary-Sue: http://www.ponylandhttp://www.ponylandpress.com/ms-test.html
Here is another one: http://www.katfeete.nehttp://www.katfeete.net/writing/marysue.html
Real people might not be able to do a lot of things fictional ones can do, but we need to be able to relate to them, all the same. Many of us wouldn’t be able to survive the Hunger Games (if they existed); we can’t speak to the dead- I hope- and our dreams of being a spy will stay that- merely a dream. But we want to be able to experience all of these things through book characters. I will be giving advice on how to write a three dimensional generic character.

Pic found on lynmidnight.blogspot.co.uk

#1 Appearance
The first thing we notice when we meet new people is the way they look. It is usually the same for fictional characters. The exception to this rule may be those creepy buggers who take their times to reveal themselves. So here are the typical features that should be included:

  • Hair colour and style
  • Eye colour
  • Skin colour/ tone
  • Clothing
  • Height

It is important to avoid cliches like ‘ice cold blue eyes’, ‘swan-like neck’, ‘porcelain skin’, ‘burly’ physique, and ‘teeth like pearls’. Try to also refrain from repeating yourself, especially if you going to describe two different characters the same way. For example, two characters may both have green eyes and you describe them both as having bright emerald eyes. Maybe one should have emerald eyes, and the other can having twinkling green eyes, or hazel eyes. Identical twins is in my opinion a valid exception.

Stereotypes are a good way of quickly getting across a character’s personality, especially minor, extra characters that will not be a big part of your story. At my old high school, we had the group labelled ‘the chavs’. They typically carry Blackberry phones, wear hoodies, walk around together in fairly large groups (preferably with a swagger), being somewhat intimidating. They tended to wear headphones, caps, and wore trainers against the school dress code regulations. Their shirts were untucked or they wore jumpers to cover that up. Their ties were short and thick, usually four stripes instead of the acceptable eight or above. They thought they were ‘hard’. They were usually just a nuisance. But this was just their exterior. As many characters are, they were never usually what they appeared to be.

It might be interesting to have a character that goes agains convention. Maybe your character meets a huge scary looking monster that ends up being the best friend they never thought they would have. Or maybe you could have that innocent small school girl tho can kick some major ass. Appearances can be deceiving, so use it to your advantage.

#2 Speech
Everyone speak differently, depending on your language, where you live and often who you are speaking to. Describing speech is not always easy and it can be years until you master dialogue. A child’s biggest problem is finding synonyms to the word ‘said’. My advice? Use that word as sparingly as possible. It is a horrible word that doesn’t really tell a reader anything. That said [oh my gosh, I used the word], I am not condoning the repetition of other words. Use yelled instead of shouted sometimes, barked instead of argued, chirped instead of ‘said happily’. Invest in a thesaurus if you have to, or better yes, use the internet. You have no excuse.

People say things differently too. You get some old fashioned characters that will always say ‘do not’ instead of ‘don’t’, ‘will not’ instead of ‘won’t’ or ‘ain’t’. Back to my ‘chav’ stereotype:

Typical phrases my friend and I would use to make fun of ‘chavs’ were:

  • ‘Come den bruv’
  • ‘I’m gonna bang you’
  • ‘Brrrrrup!’
  • ‘Ooooh! You got void!’
  • ‘In it doh’ 

The phrases were a language all their own. It was a slang that many people used actually, not always just the typical ‘chavs’. And what is a ‘chav’ anyway? Well that was never made clear. So when you write about your characters, think about what type of person they would be. Royal characters might use bigger, more complicated words, whilst school children might use slang from time to time. It is always a good idea to listen out to people in conversations to get an idea of what dialogue is really like. Remember that people also talk with their hands, using all kinds of gestures. And think about the emotion behind the words.

Part three and four of this topic will most likely be out later this week.

Stereotypical Chav

Mufunde, out
x