Thursday, March 28, 2013
Endearments: Hiya, Honey
Think carefully before writing, because what works in real life may not work in a book. All the men you know may call their partner “babe” or “baby”. Just as you might have four friends all named Sarah. In real life it’s easy to keep the four Sarahs or "babes" separate, but in a book, or even in a series, having more than one character with the same name can lead to readers getting confused, needing to flip backward and forward in the text and ground themselves in the story again. This is not what you, as an author, are looking for. If you get three heroes meeting in a car on a stake-out, all referring to their special person as babe, it doesn’t work.
Also remember your book will be read internationally. Not all endearments work cross culturally. “Ma petite chou” is quite common in French-speaking areas, but for those not used to it, who look up a translation and discover “chou” means “cabbage”, it may be off-putting. Not everyone thinks cabbage is cute and delightful.
Also, it’s not necessary for the hero to call the heroine, “darling” in every second sentence. That becomes heavy and labored, worse than if he used her given name so often. In normal conversation the endearment might be used a couple of times but not in every second line. Dialogue tags can slow down a story. If it’s obvious who says what, they can be eliminated.
Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.