Posts tagged ‘style’


Presently, I’m in a quandary about the subject of this piece, my writing style.

Every writer has his or her own style, the way of expressing in word the thoughts they are trying to convey.  How does this characteristic of the author originate?  Is it some deep-seated voice that represents your essence, or is it merely a manufacture of all the authors whose works you have read?

My reason for pondering this question is that I am in the process of editing my novel, Sweet Depression, and in this endeavor I am attempting to cure what others have pointed out to me as a major fault – my brevity.  I tend to concentrate on the core of the story and leave out details that would give the story more life.  But where is the line you must be careful not to cross when that life would morph into a boring existence?

Take a look at your bookshelves.  If you’re as voracious a reader as I and share my fault of not being able to part with a book once read, those shelves are overflowing.  Science fiction and horror are my writing genres, but lately some of my stories have spilled into the murky boundaries of the thriller.  But back to science fiction.  I look at the science fiction novels of fifty or more years ago and those of today and see a distinct difference.  Older science fiction is more concise, more to the point.  Of course, you have the epic series Dune written by Frank Herbert and continued by his son which are massive in length, tomes of a complex series.  But I look at H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds which is little more than  a novella and see the more typical length of science fiction of a bygone era.

Recently I have talked to writers whose work are massive and needed to be cut for publication.  My work doe not require deletion but rather addition.  But how much to add without diluting down the story or slowing the action, that’s the quandary.

While thinking this piece through I may have come up with the answer to my problem.  It is not the length that is important, rather the content and the skill of the writer.  Talent is the bottom line.  The writer must take the readers by the hand and lead them down a path without detours causing them to lose their way.  And when the readers reach the end of that path, if the writer has been successful, they are left with a treasure.


March 24, 2014 at 7:21 pm 1 comment


I don’t know about other writers, but when I read work by a successful author, especially one writing in my chosen genre, I have a desire to mimic the voice of that writer. After all, their voice has worked where mine is less than well-known. However, I resist temptation and, for better or for worse, adhere to my own style, my own writing voice.
What determines a writer’s voice?
Perhaps the most important element is the writer’s life, his experiences along that bumpy road to his vocation and hopefully his avocation. Certainly his age is a determining factor. I began my writing career at an advanced age, some would say almost elderly. And as I stumbled down my own road, I was molded by what I experienced. I sometimes wonder what words I would have produced had I begun writing at an earlier age and how my writing would have developed as I aged.
I feel another determinate of a writer’s voice is the genre you choose to work in. I write science fiction and horror. Science fiction is terse, detail oriented with the story and plot more important than character development. Horror leaves more room for character development but also depends heavily on atmosphere and a host of nonhuman characters. Horror tends to be more ‘wordy’ than science fiction.
These are my opinions on what goes into developing a writer’s voice. For you writers out there, am I on target or completely off the mark?
Someday, time permitting; I may try to stretch my voice into other genres.

September 18, 2013 at 6:59 pm Leave a comment


As mentioned in my last post, I would like to discuss my writing style or lack there of.
I have this fault when writing novels, but it really rears its ugly head when I write short stories. I think about the story I’m going to write for quite some time before I put one word on paper. When I’m finally ready to begin writing I am in such a rush to write the story, my first draft is always written with pencil and legal pad, I tend to write a bar-bones story lacking details that would make it more readable and interesting. Hence, one editor said my stories were like outlines.
Let me demonstrate.
Betty was cooking dinner when Harry walked into the kitchen.
Earlier in the story, who the characters are, may have been established. If not, this sentence raises many unanswered questions. Who are they? What is their relationship? What do they look like?
To give some depth to the scene: What is Betty cooking? What are the smells? What does the kitchen look like? Not all of this may be important but some detail will help form a mental image to help the story along.
I hope to improve my style in my upcoming work and in the stories I have yet to publish walking the fine line between detail and padding.

July 12, 2013 at 7:17 pm Leave a comment


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