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  1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    POV name vs Real Name

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by GuardianWynn, Nov 11, 2015.

    So. I have this short story. Well, more like a scene. (1.5k)

    The scene is from the POV of a seven year old girl. At the time I wrote the scene, the father didn't have a name. So when I had a name for him. I went back and added his name to speech tags. Then I looked at and wondered if that is a mistake.

    I mean what seven year old girl think of her father by any other name than father?

    The scene though also has 3 characters that never get names. So it being four nameless characters too much?

    Am I over thinking this?

    @Shadowfax Since you read it. Do you have an opinion? Thanks! :D
     
  2. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you're overthinking.

    1/ By seven, children are starting to become aware that their parents are also George and Mildred, although they wouldn't refer to them as such...probably! After all, there are plenty of families nowadays where it's a step-parent, whom the children refer to by their given name from the start, presumably to maintain the distinction with the (perhaps now-divorced) biological parent.

    2/ I think you're confusing POV with First Person Narrator (FPN). POV means that you're telling us what she can see and feel. FPN you're giving us what she sees and thinks.

    FPN you'd be wrong to give us vocabulary that a 7-year old wouldn't be comfortable with, including the use of her father's given name.
    POV you can use what vocabulary you like, but you'd have to be careful about concepts. e.g., she wouldn't understand sex, and the games that men and women play...but then again, I was watching "The secret life of 4-year olds"...one 4-year old girl was having an imaginary phone call where she said "Stop bothering me , Roger. You're not the father. I don't love you any more." So, even that young, they pick up more than you'd imagine!

    3/ The problem with 4 nameless characters in a scene is identifying them to the reader, so that their actions are distinct. Referring to them as "scruffy ruffian" just feels so uncomfortable every time, and using pronouns risks confusion. I think it's better to have something like:

    "Let it go, Arturo, he's not worth it." Said the shorter one.
    "Look at that gold chain around his neck. He's worth it." The one called Arturo replied with a terse laugh.

    That way, you've established him as Arturo for the rest of the scene. As long as he's the "lead" villain, who does most of the talking and acting, you can get away with something brief as a description for each of his sidekicks.
     
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  3. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for the crash course in FPN vs POV :D

    Yeah, thinking it. I probably could sneak at least one of the villains names in. If for no other reason to help avoid confusion.

    Though, I am still lost on if you think the sample should have tags that say "father said" or if I should insert the fathers name(Carl) in its place.

    In a sense it seems like character voice or FPN might call that I use the term father. But as you stated, it sounds like this is not a requirement. Could I get your opinion? Do you remember the scene? Out of curiousity?
     
  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't recall the scene in detail, whether it was first person from the child's POV, or Close 3rd.

    I'm assuming from this reply that it's first, so the child is narrator.

    (My crash course was assuming that it was close 3rd)

    That being the case, then "father said" would be what she'd think, although you could use the pronoun if it's clear enough that it's the father and not one of the villains. e.g....

    Father stood his ground, fingering the hilt of his sword.
    "Give us all your valuables," Arturo demanded.
    "You'll have to take them." He replied in a quiet, determined voice.

    Although, the reply is so obviously a reply it doesn't really need an attribution, anyway.
     
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  5. PapaGhanda
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    PapaGhanda Member

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    I feel as though you may be afraid to name your characters because you are afraid of yourself. Or maybe aspects of it.

    Before you continue writing, I suggest condensing your story to a maximum of 2 nameless characters. Possibly 2?

    Create a concrete relationship with your characters, and that means giving them a name.
     
  6. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, no. I don't think you quite understand the question.

    The question was, should I use the term father or use the fathers real name. The issue came from the POV character being the child of the character. Thus maybe it is more natural for the child to think of the father by the name father, instead of his given name.
     
  7. PapaGhanda
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    PapaGhanda Member

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    Given name, as long as you are comfortable.
     
  8. Tom13
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    Tom13 Member

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    I would go with the name the PoV character knows them by, especially if it is a close PoV.
     

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