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Quirky Characters and Characters with Quirks

Quirky Characters and Characters with Quirks

Historical upheavals and gut-wrenching personal conflicts aren’t the only kinds that keep readers turning the pages. Almost as important are small-scale conflicts— for example, political differences between friends or lifestyle differences between relatives.

Time’s on Your Side

Time’s on Your Side

Each genre of writing has a timeframe, its temporal setting—for news, product reviews, press releases, and nearly all corporate writing; the timeframe is the present. Anything else—celebrity profiles, short stories, screenplays and stage plays, novels—can have any sort of timeframe you wish. A story about a Civil War soldier can be told in the present tense, as if it’s a thriller...

The Vagaries of Double Negatives

The Vagaries of Double Negatives

As all high school graduates know—or are supposed to know—in modern English, double negatives are considered at best improper and at worst, indicative of semi-literacy. “I don’t have none” is an ungrammatical response to a question such as “Do you have any money?” Even more ungrammatical are “stacked” negative elements, such as “I don’t have none never.”

The Perspective of POV or Point of View

The Perspective of POV or Point of View

Every piece of writing is founded on a point of view, or “POV” in screenwriters’ parlance. A story’s point of view may be objective or subjective, from inside or outside depicted events—sometimes called “interiority” and “exteriority” by writing teachers—and may have a singular perspective or multiple perspectives.