1. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Mother vs. His mother

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Wreybies, Jan 20, 2017.

    3rd person limited POV. We're riding Brenn's shoulder and he has cause to be thinking about and engaging his mother.

    A few examples from here and there:
    Is the lack of a possessive pronoun in my syntax too close to 1st person? Does this work for you in 3PL?
     
  2. xanadu

    xanadu Contributor Contributor

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    Does he normally refer to her as 'Mother'? If so, I'd say there's no problem using it in 3rd limited, but I would capitalize it. Otherwise, I'd either use 'his mother' or whatever name he normally refers to her as.
     
  3. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    I think it works if your goal is to be as close to Brenn as possible. Little details like those help to deepen the POV bond between character and reader. If you aren't looking for something so close, then the possessive pronoun would help to create some distance.

    Just my thoughts.
     
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  4. Fernando.C

    Fernando.C Contributor Contributor

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    It works perfectly well for me. We are, as you said, in Brenn's head and he's reflecting about his mother, there's no need for a possessive pronoun, it's obvious who he is referring to. Also having to insert a 'his' each time you mention his mother would get repetitive soon, bogging down the flow of the narrative as a result, in my opinion at least.
     
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  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, in his head and in conversation with those close to him, she is mother. Formally, when invoking her to others, she is Lady Petla. I think you're right about capitalizing it.

    Yes, the whole scene is deep in Brenn's thoughts. There's little in the way of action in this scene. More than anything, I'm trying to create the feeling of her being an imposing figure.
     
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  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    If that's how he thinks of her, rather than by name, then it works fine for me. In my children's stories I use Mother, Mom, Dad, etc in place of names, without a possessive pronoun, because that's how the children identify their parents.
     
  7. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    Well it is his mother, so why would he think 'his', when the connection is obvious.
    So I think it is fine the way you have it.
     
  8. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    I'm always confused when people confuse closeness with 'person'!

    I agree that Mother needs to be capitalised, but otherwise this is fine.
     
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  9. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Yeah, you're fine. You need some wiggle room within the limited POV or they'll be no intimacy. Especially if you have several characters sharing in the narration.
     
  10. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks, all. Just one of those things. I was reviewing the scene and I hadn't been steady with the use. Sometimes mother, sometimes his mother. Steadying it made me question. :)
     
  11. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

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    This is in line with what I learned about grammar.

    The technicality of it...

    'Mother' is capitalized when it takes the place of her name as in: He saw Mother in her underwear. (This makes it a proper noun and they're always capitalized.)

    'Mother' is not capitalized when preceded by any possessive pronoun or article: His mother was dancing in her underwear. She was going to be a mother, no matter what she wore.

    I'm sure @Wreybies and @xanadu both knew this, but it had to be said. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
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  12. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    It works so long as the rest of the prose follow with the same closeness. But all the examples you posted read fine.
     
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  13. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Totally fine. "His mother" would add a great deal of distance that I think you don't want.
     
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