So many writers, especially at the beginning, make mistakes over point of view. They begin a short story or a novel telling the story through one character's eyes and then switch to the view of another character. And the reader, who is happily immersed in the story as 'told' by Character 1, is brought up short and the illusion is lost. You, as writer, has to decide 'who is telling the story?' and stick with it. Ok, you CAN change point of view but there has to be a clear signal...beginning another chapter, for example. You are taking your reader on a journey into your character's mind. Don;t risk them getting lost.
'What's the good of a book without pictures or conversation?' Alice demanded. Her creator, Lewis Carroll, made a point. OK maybe we can forgo the pictures but a book where non of the characters speaks (or very little) makes for a monotonous read. Writers who employ mainly narrative are unconfident (I suspect) of writing realistic dialogue. It's a pity because it is a powerful tool, not only giving characters voivces but telling the reader a lot abut their character, background location, mood, thought process, feelings...need I go on? I've never found writing dialogue difficult but for those who do my advice is this: cultivate being a listener, tune in to people's voices. Keep a notebook and write down scraps of dialogue overheard. And here is the big one: eavesdrop on conversations whenever you are in a public place. Eventually the music of dialogue will enter your brain and you'll find yourself writing convincing and realistic dialogue.
Jennifer Pulling is a successful writer in several genres.
‘My father, George, introduced me to M.R. James when I was six. I spent my teenage years reading about life while my peers were out experiencing it.’
Illness constrained her to live vicariously through fictional heroines like Daisy Miller, Emma Bovary and Anna Karenina. These stories of women who defied common sense to pursue a lust for life were her early influences and continue to inform her writing today.
Judith Goldstein, heroine of MONET’S ANGELS, is young, beautiful and reckless, determined to break free and live her bohemian dream. But her presence disturbs long buried memories, sparking a chain of events that have a tragic conclusion.
‘At twenty-two, I was completely recovered, ready to escape my bookish self and ‘live’. In a parallel universe, Italy had always been there, waiting for me.’
This was the ultimate love affair, a deep and abiding passion for a place and she couldn’t keep away. But how to finance this wanderlust? She wrote – and had published – numerous women’s magazine short stories. Her travel articles appeared in national newspapers and magazines. Her plays such as HOMECOMING, which won the Clemence Dane award, resulted from an emotive visit to the Marais district of Paris, scene of Jewish deportation during WW2. She believes travel is a significant key to unlocking the creative process.
Jennifer lives and writes in a Victorian cottage on the South coast. She is also a passionate animal lover and has a special affinity with cats. Moved by the plight of many felines in Sicily, she set up Catsnip and has been involved in the field of cat welfare and neutering for the past fourteen years. The memoir/travelogue of her experiences and perception of the Sicilian landscape and culture THE GREAT SICILIAN CAT RESCUE was published in 2015.
She is currently at work on the sequel to MONET’S ANGELS.
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