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Your writing question answered

Posted February 21, 2014 in biography writing, naming conventions

Hi Sydney,

I’m writing a biography about my father but I'm having trouble deciding what to call him in the manuscript. ''Dad" feels like the emotionally correct choice but would it be better for the reader if I use his first name instead? Dad seems a bit too general.

 Thanks, Jacqui Ross

Hi Jacqui! 

I believe "my father" or "my mother" is the custom when writing about a parent. 

However, calling him Dad makes the biography more intimate. What kind of experience do you want for the reader? Do you want them to feel close to your subject, as close as if you the narrator are their friend?

Or do you want a slight distance, as if the reader is a welcome stranger who has been brought, temporarily, into the family?

If the latter, then refer to him as your father. If the former, call him Dad.

Comments (1 Comment)

Thanks Sydney,

That was really helpful.


Posted by Jacqui Ross on February 25, 2014

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