Guy Mankowski, Author at The Open College of the Arts - Page 3 of 6
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Guy Mankowski


Developing your voice: Part 2

In the second part of this blog I will be discussing how the ‘voice’ of the prose can be put across using the third person. You might think that the third person has such a sense of distance from the character that putting across a ‘voice’ in the text will be hard – even impossible. Not so! It just takes some craft.

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Developing your voice. Part 1

The idea of developing ‘your voice’ is not just an idea limited to X Factor. Or, for that matter, Britain’s Got Talent. It is a term publishers and agents often use when critiquing new writers. How strong is their ‘voice’? But what is meant by this term, and how can we develop our voice, as a writer, to make it stronger?

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What is unique about your character?

In real life, we share the premise that ‘everyone is unique’. A basic premise, I know – but an important one. When helping students to write creatively it has struck me how in many instances our characters are just the same.

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Point of view- is it okay to ‘head hop’?

I’m not quite sure why this is an issue that has only been coming up recently with students of mine. Perhaps it is because some are now later on in their assignments, and are challenging themselves with new, technical ways to tell a story. But more and more of my students who now write in the third person have been wondering about Point of View.

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From idea to completion- overcoming writers block to move your story forward

One of the main questions students ask is how to overcome writers block. It strikes me that even writing for pleasure soon becomes, in many ways, writing on demand once the interest turns serious.

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How do writers use the idea of memory to help tell stories? Part two

Memory has a nebulous, abstract quality to it. Perhaps it is that mysterious element which makes authors often use it as a literary device. People – and therefore characters – can trick themselves into thinking they remember something that happened when it did not.

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How do writers use the idea of memory to help tell stories?

Are there any novels or films that don’t rely on the premise of ‘I remember’? The idea of memory is more embedded in art than I think we credit. The fact that a story needs to be told is central as to why the reader – or viewer is being offered in the first place. We have all heard stories that began with the winsome phrase ‘Once upon a time’ when we were children.

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How reliable should your narrator be?

The unreliable narrator can be a very useful concept for the creative writer. Not only for dramatic purposes, but for comedic purposes too. After all, is there a quicker way to engage someone than to make them laugh?

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Where should the author place themselves in the text, part 2.

With these blog pieces I hope I have offered some clues as to how the writer can benefit from the choice of person and the position they take in the text. Although ultimately, of course, it is the reader that we hope will benefit…

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