Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Writing style as a natural voice

Over time, my writing style has naturally evolved into an extension of myself. It's a combination of my personality, beliefs and is greatly influenced by other books that I've read over the years. I've noticed in my last WIP that by concentrating on my style, it resulted in stilted prose. So, during edits, I tweaked and loosened up dialogue and narrative. However, it was a lesson learned. The story is what draws readers in, but it's an author's writing style that snags them and keeps them coming back for more. What put a chink in my style? Well, I'm not one to point blame, but a writer must be careful how much influence they give an editor. I've always believed, the relationship between a writer and editor should resemble a marriage. There must be trust, communication, understanding, productive bickering, and sex (I'm talking in the material, folks, not in real life).  If there's not a proper balance, the partnership is doomed. On the other hand, find a great editor and watch how a writer's style blooms into amazing. I've had some great ones and some bad ones. Haven't we all? Once, I had an editor say, "This character is an ass. Readers won't like him." Hm...did this editor completely fail to realize that bad-asses are my style? When I refused to "change" him this particular editor said, "You're not listening." You know, she was right, because the balanced relationship wasn't there between us. I handed this same WIP over to a published author friend to edit and the project blossomed.

With this said, what lessons have I learned?

1. Read, Read, Read to develop your writing style. Reading expands the brain and that's where most writers, especially beginners, learn the craft.

2.Write, Write, Write. It's like riding a bike, you must get on the bike to start and you must fall to learn.

3. Be natural. Go with that inner voice that's leading you to your writing style. If it needs cultivated, do that during editing, but restraining your style can ruin a story.

4. Less words mean more. Here's another problem I have. I want to over-nurture a sentence. Wrong!! Clear, to the point sentences are what keeps the flow marching.

5. Leave the cliches for everyday talk, but attempt to develop your own expression in writing.

6. The thesaurus should be your best friend. You should love it, hold it, squeeze it and cherish it. It'll be there when all else fails, trust me.

7. Last, but not least, you must love writing. For me, writing is like falling into insane madness and loving every second.

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