Saturday 26 April 2014

Long Live The Lexophiles And Logophiles

Lexophile and logophile are words not found in the dictionary, but are terms created by writers over the years. 

Lexical: origin Greek lexikos "of words".

Logo: origin Greek logos "word".

lexophile is described as a lover of words and loves to use them in unique ways. Another word used to describe people who are fascinated by words and language is logophileone who derives pleasure from various use of words, who appreciates the nuances of different words, and who is alert to synonyms, antonyms, homophones, and homonyms, often using them for effect and often in humor.

Lexophiles/logophiles are writers who are fond of word play and explore ways in which words can sound and feel different from everyday use such as puns or compositions which play with unusual or obscure words.

Some unique sentences that have been published:

The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless. 
The math professor went crazy writing on the blackboard--he did a number on it. 
A backward poet writes inverse. 
A plateau is a high form of flattery.

Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.
When you've seen one shopping Center you've seen a mall.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
Police were called to a day care Center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

I am a lexophile/logophile, so here are some of my own quirky sentences:

The young show horse had to wear a ponytail (okay, that's only funny if you know how much grooming is required for show horses).

The puppy was looking forward to going to church with his dogma (now that is funny).

The woodsmen saw all the trees (hilarious).

copyright, Diane Mae Robinson, 2014

For information on my adventure kids books:

Friday 18 April 2014

Don't Give Me Any More Trouble.

Any more or anymore? What is the difference in North American usage?

Any more (two words) is an adjective phrase that means, any additional:
 The dragon didn't want any more onions added to his soup pot.
Anymore (one word) is an adverb that means, still, any longer, nowadays, and can be used in a negative or a positive sense:
      Negative sense:  Apparently, the king doesn't like onions anymore.
      Positive sense:  The royal councilman wanted to know if the dragon grew onions anymore. 

Another way to think about the distinction is: anymore is used to indicate time, any more indicates quantity or degree.

     The king doesn't like onions anymore  (any longer) because he doesn't want any more (any additional) embarrassing burping episodes in the royal court.

One more rule: when you follow with the preposition than, always use the adjective phrase any more.

     The royal councilman didn't appreciate the king's burbs any more than the king liked expelling them.

However, British English often identifies anymore as an alternative spelling for any more. So, depending where your kingdom is, the royal rules vary.                         

More on my dragon books for children:

copyright Diane Mae Robinson, 2014                                                                                                         


Saturday 5 April 2014

Point Of View In Writing For Children

  • Point of view, or viewpoint, can be a confusing aspect of writing for many writers at the best of times. In writing for children, there are some stricter rules on the subject.

  • There are several different viewpoint techniques in writing, but in writing for children, the viewpoints that are acceptable in modern writing are limited to a few and the viewpoint in writing for younger children is always limited to only one character's point of view.

Children relate to the point of view character in the story, so making it clear who is telling the story at the beginning of your story is very important.

Viewpoint is basically divided into objective and subjective.


The objective narrator only reports what can be seen and heard, like a camera, and does not get inside the character's head to interpret any feelings or thoughts of the character. Young picture books are written in this style where the illustrations would show the emotions of the character. 


Subjective narrations is described as having all five senses through the character. This is the most common form of narrations in children book writing and is further divided into four categories:

First Person viewpoint

The viewpoint of the story is through the main character using their own words and the pronouns I, me, myself. First person viewpoint can be a straightforward telling of the story or in the form of a letter or diary.

This viewpoint gives a personal account of the main character's thoughts and feelings, whether right or wrong, and connects the reader quickly to the main character. The problem with first person viewpoint is the frequent use of the word "I", which can become intrusive.

First person narrative is best told in the present tense so that the reader feels the character is telling the story and not the writer. You must know your character very well and limit all thoughts and feelings to the character. 

This viewpoint is not usually used in books for younger children.

Third Person Limited Viewpoint

Third person viewpoint is similar to first person viewpoint in that the writer is inside the character's head. The story is told through the main character's senses using the pronouns he, she, they, etc. and the story is told by only showing the main character's experience--the main character must be in all scenes.

This viewpoint gives the feeling that the story is unfolding and not being told, as in first-person viewpoint. . Writing in this perspective allows the writer to keep their own prose style, and to interpret the character's behavior while still offering depth of emotion. Third person limited viewpoint is the most common form of writing children stories as it is the least obtrusive viewpoint; allowing the best reader involvement.

Third Person Multiple viewpoint

This viewpoint is written through more than one character's perspective. Either two or three (maximum) characters are relating the story through their thoughts, feelings and experiences. This type of viewpoint is used when writing for older readers. The different character's views are usually divided into different chapters or with page breaks so as not to confuse the reader.

The purpose for using third person multiple viewpoint would be to let the reader experience two different sides of the bigger picture within the story, and decide for himself which character is right if either of them are at all.

Third Person Omniscient

The narrator knows and sees all, like he is floating above the story in a Godlike manner; he sees all events, knows all the thoughts of all the characters, and can even look into the future.

This type of viewpoint is most often used in fables, fairy tales, and read-a-loud picture books.

Third person omniscient does tend to distance the reader from the story as the reader doesn't feel that he knows or cares about any one character better than the other.

There are several other points of views with variations and combinations used in writing, but when writing for children it is best to stick to the simpler point of views listed here.

When a child hears or reads a story and feels like they have experienced it along with the main character, then you have done your best writing.

Visit my author's website to view my adventure kids books at:
Illustrations by Samantha Kickingbird