Editor and Author Vrinda Pendred explains the difference between inquits and body language in fiction writing, and how to vary your dialogue to bring it to life. Something I commonly see in my work as an editor, and as an avid reader of indie eBooks, is confusion between inquits and body language. Inquit is a term my old creative writing teacher at University used to refer to phrases such as ‘he said’ and ‘she said’. I’ve since learned that, technically, the word is Latin for ‘says’, specifically relating to third-person present-tense grammatical constructions, but what I’m going to discuss in this article applies to any indication of speech in our writing.
Editor and Author Vrinda Pendred explains ‘point of view’ (POV) in writing, and the impact of an omniscient narrator, alternating POV, and sticking to one POV. A hot topic in any creative writing class is ‘point of view’ (POV), meaning the perspective you adopt within a story. There are three main perspectives you might choose to employ in your writing: Single POV Multiple POV Omniscient (universal) POV In my work as an editor, and as an avid reader of works by independent authors, I frequently see the above writing techniques mixed up. For example, a book might start out with a single POV, and then surprise me by adding in a second POV halfway through. The author might even employ the omniscient POV partway through a paragraph, before returning to the single perspective. These sudden shifts in perspective make our writing confusing, and even frustrating, to read. The trouble is, it’s easy to slip up. Indeed, many writers will change POV without realising they’re doing it. That’s why I thought it would be useful to explain just what each of the three main perspectives entails, how to use them, and how to avoid mixing them up in your writing.
Author and Editor Vrinda Pendred shares her tips for what to do when you receive constructive criticism or bad reviews for your writing. Being a writer demands a thick skin. When we write, we’re putting our deepest thoughts and feelings onto paper. To set them free from the safe confines of our heads is an act of courage, more so when we release them to the public. It’s tantamount to saying, ‘This is who I really am. How will you judge me?’ For those of you who think you don’t write anything that personal: even the most frivolous stories have something of us in them. Otherwise, anyone could have written it. What this means is that when we get feedback from our readers, it can be tempting to respond emotionally. For example, Mythos (which later become They Who from the Heavens Came, book one of my series The Wisdom) consistently received 4- or 5-star reviews on Amazon, whereas on Good Reads, every now and then there would be a 2-star rating. When this happened, I checked the reviewer’s reading history, to see what kinds of books they tend to give higher ratings. Usually, I could quickly see they were not my target audience. This was often frustrating, because it gave a skewed impression of my book. But all writers have to suffer this. After all, the average Good Reads rating for Mythos was similar to that of such classics as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or A Wrinkle […]
Author and Editor Vrinda Pendred considers whether we’re sending unhealthy messages to our young adult readers. The hot topic in film and literary circles right now is 50 Shades of Grey. Love it or hate it, people are talking about it – even those who haven’t seen / read it. Those who object to it say it glorifies rape, emotional manipulation and general abuse. Parents have spoken out, urging their daughters not to imagine the ‘relationship’ portrayed in the story is something to aspire to. Fans of the books have argued that the book doesn’t encourage the behaviour; Christian Grey comes from a tormented background and learns to love through Anastasia’s patience and endurance. This article isn’t really about 50 Shades of Grey on its own; it’s about the wider genre it evolved from. For those who don’t know, 50 Shades began as Twilight fan fiction. Despite the adult content of 50 Shades, this places its origins in the young adult arena – and that I have an opinion on. As a writer of young adult fiction, I have read hundreds of books in the greater genre. In doing so, I’ve noticed certain patterns, particularly in paranormal romance stories: The girl is often a clumsy weakling who endangers herself so much through her own stupidity that the boy has no choice but to look out for her. This involves stalking her, sneaking in her bedroom at night and watching her sleep, stealing her phone, making decisions for her, carrying her […]
Author and Editor Vrinda Pendred shares how doing a little research can make the difference between writing a STORY and creating a reading EXPERIENCE. It’s said that when you open a new book, you are entering into an unspoken agreement to suspend your disbelief and fall deep into the arms of the author’s illusion. But like any good contract, there are two parties involved, and it’s up to the writer to hold up their end of the deal. Two years ago, I read an independently published young adult fantasy novel that had a beautiful cover, an intriguing title and an enticing synopsis. Halfway through the story, there was an overly long journey from London to France, which went a little like this: She caught the train from ‘London’ and was immediately speeding through countryside. Anyone who’s actually been on this journey will know the train from London to continental Europe is the Eurostar, which leaves from St Pancras station, in the centre of a vast urban landscape. This train finished its journey at the ‘end of England’ – no town was named. There was nowhere for the girl to stay, and she was frightened she was stranded in the middle of nowhere. In fact, the port for travelling across the English Channel to the continent is in Dover, a town renowned for its famous white cliffs. It’s a hugely popular tourist attraction, with several hotels and places to eat, not to mention how many people go in and out of […]