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Old 06-17-2012, 12:14 AM   #35
Steven Lake
Sci-Fi Author
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penforhire View Post
Not a bad list of sins.

POV is a tricky thing. I was recently reading Michael Connelly's "The Reversal" and he gives somewhat equal time to his two huge protagonists from prior novels (Bosch and Mickey). He's one of my favorite authors but it was still awkward at times because he was switching POV between chapters, giving equal time.
I think an even bigger issue is when an author gives TOO much time to the main character and doesn't balance out the story somewhat by bringing in the other characters to support them. I had this issue with my "Mike" character in the Earthfleet saga at the beginning. I started out with a bit of the "superman" complex when writing about him. Eventually I had to come to grips with the fact that no story is every a one man show. Sure, give the majority of the action and screen time to the main character, but like when fixing a stew, you've gotta have more than just a pot full of water. You need all the veggies and spices to make it a stew, even if they're the lesser ingredients.
Quote:
Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
So the one I've read a bit of hemming and hawing over is repeating a character's name endlessly during dialog. I've read a fair few arguments both ways, and none are particularly convincing.
This would pretty much fit with the repeating word argument. I apply the same anti-repeating rules with names in my stories as I do with any other word. I got jumped about that in my early days, using the name too much and not enough pronouns.
Quote:
Originally Posted by orlok View Post
I think it shows up if you read the work aloud. Very quickly the repetition of first names becomes clumsy and unrealistic.
I very much agree with people reading their works aloud. I've come to make that a habit when editing (my neighbors think I'm insane, but oh well. lol.) and it's opened my eyes to everything from unseen repetitions to spotting clumsy sentences that might flow smoothly in your mind, but when you speak them it's like you just carpet bombed yourself. I've been doing that with some of the scenes I'm working on in my latest book. I'll take them, print out the scene, and then read it to my mom. In doing so I've found lots of issues, and one real zinger of a busted, awkward sentence. So reading out loud is always a smart idea, even for the pros.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dadioflex View Post
...Characters who all sound the same.
Oh gawds, that drives me nuts too. It's probably why I spend so much time on not only creating completely unique characters, but also ensuring that I hear them in my head speaking exactly what I'm writing. If something I'm trying to do is out of character for them, they usually kick me between the eyes and get me back on character again. :P
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