1. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    Question regarding POV

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Poziga, Aug 4, 2014.

    Hello. :)

    I have a (simple) question.

    My MC is a child. Consequently I write through his POV. When it comes to parents I don't know how to write them. Do I write with parental names "his mother did that, his father did that other things..." or can I write their names "Eileen did that, while Thomas did that other thing...."
    At the beginning I did write mother and father of course, but now that I have introduced names, I'm a bit confused what can I use. I have a feeling it's "mother and father", because it's a child's POV, but I want to be sure. :)
    Also if the answer is "use the parental names", can someone explain briefly when it is "the mother" and when "mother". I know the difference between "a" and "the", but I'm not completely sure when can I omit the articles.

    Thank you for your help. :)
     
  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    If it's the child's POV I don't think he would even refer to them as "mother" and "father" but "mommy" and "daddy".

    EDITED TO ADD: I don't think I knew my parents names until I was at least 3, and I would never have used them to refer to anything they did.
     
  3. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    That depends on the circumstances. If the family is in the upper class, they usually call them mother and father. That's how I understand it, and also our teacher from Great Britain told us that. :)

    To understand the situation:
    The child lives in isolation with his parents. His father is an educated scientist, while his mother is always at home. He is home-schooled, and his father is quite strict about his education etc... You probably know what kind of parents I'm talking about, quite cliched, but that's jsut superficialy. They also manipulate him to continue his father path. When summing all this together, I hope you see why I call them "mother and father" :)

    To your ADD: So i'm correct to refer to them as "Mother and father", right? :)
     
  4. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    You are correct, though from the description I would imagine the child has been trained to refer to his father as "sir" when he addresses him.
     
  5. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha yes, I went quite far, but the story happens in 1998, so I think "sir" would be a little over the edge. Also, since father is manipulating him, I think there still has to be some parent-child connection/warmth. :)
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I agree with Jack. Your child should use mom, dad, mommy, daddy, papa, mama, or mother, father depending on the child's culture and social class. My villagers call their parents, mom and dad, but the rich kids they meet call their parents, mother and father.
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    You also need capitals or otherwise, depending on whether you're using the name as if it's a proper name, or not. That is:

    Not like a proper name:

    That afternoon, his father made lunch. Tommy knew that his mother wouldn't like that. Helpfully, he told his father, "That's not the right knife for the mayonnaise."

    Like a proper name:

    That afternoon, Father made lunch. Tommy knew that Mother wouldn't like that. Helpfully, he told Father, "That's not the right knife for the mayonnaise."

    Or any desired mix.
     
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  8. Swiveltaffy
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    Swiveltaffy Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Poziga

    I'm curious, what age is the child? I understand young but just how young? 5-7? 9-12?
     
  9. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    He's 11 years old.

    @ChickenFreak , I don't understand why it should be capitalized. Could you please enlighten me? I know that some times in English nouns are capitalized, but in my language that never happens. Except if it's a name, of course :)

    Thanks to all of you. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    In this case, the noun is capitalized when it's used in place of a name. I'm not quite sure how to explain it further--I'm not saying that it's obvious, just not sure how to make it clearer.

    That afternoon, his father made lunch.
    That afternoon, Father made lunch.

    That afternoon, his next-door neighbor made lunch.
    That afternoon, Stan from next door made lunch.

    That afternoon, the cafeteria lady made lunch.
    That afternoon, Mrs. Smith made lunch.
     
  11. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    I googled this and it looks like it has something to do with proper names. I'll check that out. Thanks for your help :)
     
  12. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes--wait--I said proper names in my post. I'm confused now. :)
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    @ChickenFreak is right, it has to do with using the title as a name of one specific person, a direct address; or, a noun of that category or type of person.

    My mother -> mother is a noun and one is not directly addressing her.
    Mother, where are you? -> Mother is a title, a name.

    The kings are all here. -> no special king
    The King is here. -> The King as in the only one the title refers to.
     
  14. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh right, I see you mentioned proper names in your first post @ChickenFreak , my bad. :)

    Ok, I'll study proper names then. I'm a bit confused when you can use the articles and when not, but I'll it figure out.

    Thanks again, guys. :)
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Articles? You mean as in 'the' king?

    It's with titles like king, queen, prince, duke, etc., that one uses caps if it is the King or the Queen and so on.

    Divide the names into two groups, a formal title like king, or something more familiar like mother.

    For formal titles don't worry about the article, instead just decide, are you referring to any king/queen/etc or a specific king/queen/etc?

    For the familiar titles like mother/father/etc, are you using the word as a direct address or as a subject you are talking about?
     
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  16. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Poziga : If a father's name is John, but his children refer to him as 'Father' or 'Daddy' then, if a sentence was told in 3rd person pov of one of the children, they could say 'Yesterday, my father/daddy made pancakes." the 'my' qualifies 'daddy' as a noun. But if they said "Yesterday, Daddy made pancakes for breakfast" here 'Daddy' is used without a qualifier 'my', so it's used as a name, hence the capitals.
     
  17. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yup. :)
    This is probably one of the things in English I can freely say I understand 100%. I also understand when "a" and "an" change to "the":
    A white car is driving along the avenue. The car stopped.
    This is a very bad example, but it's already 1:30 AM, and I've been playing a tourist the whole day, so I'm a little tired. :D
    I write in a third person from the boy's POV, so I am just talking about them, what the boy sees them doing etc... I think this paragraph shows well how I write them:
    The smell of roasted chicken was filling the room. He grimaced. He didn’t like the way mother cooked. The food itself was delicious, it was the way she treated food that was repulsive. He saw her cook once, and that was all it took to spoil his meals. Smelling the chicken now, Melvin could picture the whole cooking process; her sweaty hands touching the chicken, then licking them. Her own sweat dripping into the pot where potato was cooking. It may not be disgusting for everybody, Melvin was aware of that, but to him it was revolting. Consequently, the redolence of what was actually appetizing was twisted into a nauseous stink. He tried to concentrate on nothing but the redolence, but an image of mother’s sweaty hands in even worsened appearance kept butting in, so Melvin quickly went upstairs.

    If it is still hard to imagine, here is the workshop thread (if you care to read it:))
    http://www.writingforums.org/threads/something-ive-been-playing-with-1000-words.133752/

    @jazzabel ok that helps a bit. I actually thought that in dialog "mother" and "father" are always written with little letters.
    Still, the biggest problem isn't in dialogs, but in narration, like in the example above.
     
  18. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Poziga : In your example, you used 'mother' both times without a qualifier such as 'his' or 'the' so you are using it as a name, so it should be capitalised.
     
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  19. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    Great, thanks @jazzabel . With this thread's posts and wikipedia articles I will soon understand this. :D

    But... I don't know why, but if I write a sentence with "the mother" in it, it sounds very unnatural to me, like I treat (the) mother as an object. :meh:
    Capitalized Mother sounds much more pleasant.
     
  20. GingerCoffee
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    He didn’t like the way Mother cooked.
    He didn’t like the way his mother cooked.
     
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  21. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can always say 'He didn't like the way his mother cooked'. It flows nicely :)
     
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  22. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, sounds nice, in both examples.
    I need to accustom to read out loud. That's the easiest way to resolve these kind of problems. It helped me before, but from some reason, I'm very uncomfortable reading my writing aloud. And even more uncomfortable letting others read my work aloud. :dry:
     
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  23. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not a big fan of it either, but it definitely helps with problem-spotting.
     
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  24. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    Proven many times. :agreed:
     
  25. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hello, soru for reviving this thread, but I encountered another problem...

    I changed some relations in the story and it came out that the child calls his mother "mummy". Can I still write in POV "Mother" or does it have to be "Mummy"?

    Example: "How are you, mummy?"
    It wasa bad day for Mother/Mummy, she could barely speak.

    Also the story is designed the way that he is growing up. First, he is 7, at the end he is 14. That means he changes mother's title with time, at first he calls her "mummy", later on he calls her "mum". So do I also have to change it in his POV, or can I stick with the same title throughout the book.
     

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