Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Pondering Mark 2

(Listening to - Guns 'n Rose - Sweet Child Of Mine)

While reading Stephen King's 'The Stand' last night, and pondering things afterwards in the shower, I came to a conclusion.

I don't write like that, and should stop wasting my time trying. (This ain't me moping, promise. Read on, Macduff!)

People like Stephen King (and my new fave, Joe Abercrombie) can command language like a lion tamer does a... um... big thing, like a cat... Damn it, I had it a minute ago. These writers own the words, an-- LION! That was it!

Anyway, they understand them there purty words to such a point that they can make them do whatever the hell they like. They can write a 1,100 page book (with a small font!) and not once do I think, 'boy, this is dragging'. They can describe a scene with 3 words, or 300, and you have the thing in your head for a week.

I love to read it, but I can't write it no matter how often I try.

As anyone who has read my stuff will tell you, I'm a sparse individual. A table is a table, and an angry man is an angry man. You know what both look like. I leave a great deal of both description and characterisation up to the imagination of the reader, and I've only ever had one person mention that it wasn't enough for them.
Despite this, every time I start a new project, I begin by writing a train wreck of a first scene, where I try and weild words and ideas not built for my stories. A chapter later, and I've slipped back into my style and don't even realise till the edit, when I pull my hair out.
My style is my style. It's an amalgam of many other writers, I'm sure, with a hint of my personality, and it's what I'm good at. I should focus on improving it, rather than trying to be something I'm not.

Er, that's it. End of odd blog post.

How do you write? Do you strive for something different, or are you happy with it?



PS - This is in no way an attempt to slag off my own writing. More a comparison of styles, with a realisation that I perform better with one than the other. I'm more than happy with the way I write, in general, so no "don't be so hard on yourself" stuff please. Thanks! :-)


Melanie Hooyenga said...

Great post! So glad you opted to share. :) In fact, you've inspired my blog post for Friday.

I've slowly learned to both figure out and accept what kind of writer I am. I don't think I go deep enough with my characters, and that's something I'm trying to work on.

Adam said...

Thanks, Hoo. Looking forward to your post. :-)

There are a few areas I need to work on (characterisation being a biggy), but I'm confident I'll get there. :)


Dolly said...

Good post. While there are certain writers whose style I admire very much, I know that it could never be my style. I've never wanted to write like anyone else, but of course I would still try and improve my own writing, because there is always room for improvement.

Besides, if we wrote like other authors, it wouldn't be our book, because it wouldn't be our voice. So then what's the point in bothering? Might as well just read their books ;)

Adam said...

I don't mean that I want to mirror their writing, more that, of the various loosely defined styles, I idolise the one that their writing falls into.

I always have, and always will, write like Adam Slade. ;)


C R Ward said...

I know exactly what you mean! When I started out writing fantasy, I would have given anything to write like Charles de Lint. But then I realized that I didn't want so much to write like him as I wanted people to feel about my writing the way I felt about his - the "I never want this book to end" sort of feeling.

Adam said...

Bah! You explained it better than I did! LOL :-)

Thanks, CR!


India Drummond said...

I do understand this feeling. I would say, though, that no good ever comes from comparing yourself to other authors, even bestsellers. There be dragons.

India Drummond

Adam said...

Oh, I don't know. There's nothing wrong with aspiring to greatness, as long as it's just aspiring, and not copying. :-)


June Kramin said...

Awesome post! I don't care how you try to break down your writing style - as long as you keep doing what it is you do! Loving it!

Adam said...

Thanks, June! :-)


jcaddell said...

I popped over from Mel's blog and added you to my linkys on my own blog.

I love this article. I think it is important for writers to establish their own style. Doing so will set them apart from other writers.

Enjoy the process!

Adam said...

Thanks, Jennifer! I'll get you added to mine. :-)

Glad you like the post!


Beth Bartlett said...

I'm glad you don't write like Stephen King. I can't stand his stuff. Man has the sense of humor of the common brick. But I like your work, and I like this post, because no one ever hit the big time being someone else--except maybe Elvis impersonators. Let your light shine! :)

Lisa said...

And a jolly good style of writing it is!

Also, it's not to say your style won't change as you progress and write more awesomesauce pieces. It's all a learning curve I'm sure ;)

Adam said...

Thanks, Beth, Lisa! :-)