1. newjerseyrunner
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    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

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    Using MC specific nicknames when referring to people?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by newjerseyrunner, Jun 30, 2016.

    In a WIP, I have a main character who's an eleven year old boy, and the story's target audience is also young boys and girls. Now, when I'm referring to a character, can I use the term that the MC would use, or be more explicit? It's not a narrative, but closely follows the character.

    The word in particular that I'm having trouble with is "dad." It seems strange in some places where it's not the MC speaking:

    "Turning to Johnny, Dad gave him a reassuring look."
    vs
    "Turning to Johnny, Johannes have him a reassuring look."

    If I were writing for an adult audience, I would take the second one. But I'm wondering if I'd get a more personal connection to a young reader if I refer to the adults as they would? Should I use both and have it depend on context?
     
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  2. Elven Candy
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    Elven Candy Contributing Member

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    I've read many books with Dad, Pa, Ma, Mother, and other similar words used for the MC parents, and it never felt awkward. When it felt awkward and confusing was when the author kept switching between, for example, Johannes and Dad.
     
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  3. BC Barry
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    BC Barry Member

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    I agree. If the whole story is from the boy's view, Dad is his father's name to the boy. At least, until he turns 13 or 14 and starts calling him by his first name just to be a typical teenage jerk. :D
     
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  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    If it's a close POV, then you use the name that the character applies to the other person. In this case, Dad. True whether you're writing for children or adults. If you're writing a more distant POV, words like mom and dad still make sense for children's books, and not so much for adult novels.
     
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  5. newjerseyrunner
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    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

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    Thank you all, this was very helpful.
     
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