Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What's Your Style?

Style is a funny thing. It's something you can't really shake even if you try. It is the voice that comes from inside you no matter what story, genre, or type of character you're writing.

For instance, me, I tend to be 'sweet'. My stories, no matter how horrific, or thrilling (and some are) still have a general overtone of sweetness mixed with a slight humor. Some, if not bent toward the horror, or thriller genres are downright sugary, and some are heavier on the humor depending, but regardless, they all have a certain happiness underneath. Maybe it comes from my general happiness in real life. Perhaps those authors with extreme pain in their writing have that general outlook on life due to circumstances. Or, maybe I should just lay off the sugar I put in my coffee.

Another author I know, TC Allen, has a style that can probably best be described as 'Dawgpatch meets the x-files'. His brand of blatant tongue-in-cheek humor is evident no matter if he's writing about vampires, street vixens, or ghosts from the past. He's the perfect fodder for comedian Jeff Foxworthy who would probably say... 'You might be a redneck if...you love TC Allen's novels.' Of course, he lives in Oklahoma, so maybe that's where it comes from.

What's your style? Do you see an underlying theme, or emotional feeling in your work regardless of genre? Do you like it, or do you try to fight it to mold your writing into something different from what comes naturally to you?


Bernita said...

Don't forget there's an element of delight and fun in yours too, Miss Write!

Don't think I try to mold style ( other than getting rid of awkward sentences and stuff, that sort of thing, for smoothness), but I have no idea about my style.
I think some characteristics may be stronger in some pieces than in others, depending on the subject.
Probably I'm not objective enough, or else don't trust my judgement in that regard.

EA Monroe said...

In what part of Oklahoma does TC Allen live? I'd be curious to know.

Being an Okie, geography and heritage certainly influence my style & voice, especially since I set most of my stories in Oklahoma (prodigal sons & daughters returning to their roots). Even in my fantasy stories, I toss disguised chunks of OK into the world-building pot.

As for Rednecks? We chased those criters South of the Red River. ;-)

Great post for making one pause and think about style & voice!

Bernita said...

Been thinking about this post.
Perhaps the existence of the Other World?

EA Monroe said...

Critters! (and that's Texas)

MissWrite said...

Thanks, Bernita. I appreciate the comment on my voice.

In this 'style' thread I'm not speaking of technicalities, which you have a good handle on, but the personal style that makes each author's writing their own.

Some writers, it seems, have to work at their craft awhile before they begin to hear their particular voice coming through, others appear to be 'born' doing it.

I doesn't really matter what the theme of the work is, or genre, or even what type of technical style the apply in their endeavors to stretch themselves--their voice comes thundering through. Most times, that's a good thing.

I think you have a very definate 'voice'. It comes through in so much of what I've read from not only your comment posts, but your excerpt posts as well. To me, and this is just what it is to me, many folks will see the same author's voice in a different way I imagine, but you have a haunting soul ripping quality. It's the kind of voice that can tear you apart, or bring you to tears of joy at your apparent whim. (Mean that as a good thing.) I have a feeling that when you burst through, your impact is going to be felt in a mighty way.

EA--I honestly do not know exactly what part of Oklahoma he's from. I could check, but I'm not sure it would be entirely kosher to post it on a public blog. LOL. He's an Okie though, through and through.

Bernita said...

Thank you.
~feel like kissing your feet~
I shall certainly cherish your comments.

Anonymous said...

(Hiya, it's Cup.)

What's my style? I'm not really sure. So I took a shower and thought about it.

I came to one conclusion. Given that I have a story that was deemed "too controversial" to be published and another story was sent back asking for a particular character's presence to be beefed up. After that the "rape/abuse/torture themes" were "too risky" for publication. (Did they think I was joking about that character being a stationary, organized, sexual-sadist serial killer?) …

That must mean I have a style that's dark, but I don't think that's my default style. I've written comedy and it went over well. I've also written sweet and it was liked. I think I'm too new to writing to really have a solid style. I have couples whose stories are dark, fluffy or sweet and I write what their story needs.

I know I have an active reluctance to sweet. Even when I write it, I tend to roll my eyes and mix in a bunch of "oh whatever's" and "oh gag me's" as I'm typing. I remember one time I actually walked away from the keyboard and had a mirror conversation, "Just get them through this and you can hurt them again." I've been told the scenes were appropriate, but they still rot my teeth. I think the reader needs a few "aww moments" in a story, but that doesn't mean I have to like it when I write it.

MissWrite said...

"Just get them through this and you can hurt them again."

ROTF... I can so see this in your writing.

I remember the first time I read Full Circle, and one scene in particular, and my acceptance comments were like, whoa, awesome, but wow, greusome! LOL

Anonymous said...

Wow, there's a gruesome moment in the short version of the story? O.o

Whoa boy, when I get to the scene that I think is gruesome you're gonna want to kill me. Snicker.

MissWrite said...

Aw, you worry too much, have I wanted to kill you yet? LOL

S. W. Vaughn said...

Brutal. Violent. Rip-your-guts-out, heart-wrenching, fall-in-love-with-the-bad guy. That's my style.

Yeah. I like it.

My romantic suspense is not quite so violent, but some of it ain't pretty. I did, however, manage to write an entire novel without using the f-word once. First time! Woo!!

Anonymous said...

Aw, you worry too much, have I wanted to kill you yet?

And let's keep it that way. *head nod*