So I started writing again. I was enjoying it, having a ball, and all that. Then five days later, I stopped. That night, I decided to trash the whole thing and start fresh the next week.
Yesterday was the first day of that week. And that was out of sheer laziness. I’ll start tonight. Or tomorrow at the latest on a whole different project.
But there’s still that question. If I was enjoying what I was writing and how it was coming together (if only 3,000 words in), then why did I give it up?
Much like my wife, I can see your eyes glaze over. Writing doesn’t have style, you argue. Writing is just putting one word in front of the other. There is no style to it. Oh, but Dear Reader, there is. It all boils down to communication.
Now for the laymen in the room, the style of writing comes from how we communicate our views on the world. That is a very unique thing, as not a single one of us see the world through the exact same lens. Because of that, the way that we construct sentences and paragraphs and stories changes. The verbs are in different places. The world is described just a little different. The emphasized word is not the same one you or I would choose.
These are the small things, the little quirks that individualizes each writer. And we imitate those styles as we develop and grow. It’s natural for us to appreciate some story or novel and then try to write something along the same lines, in that author’s style. As we take down line after line, we imagine to ourselves how would Tolkien or Asimov or whomever have written this? And any author who says they didn’t is a liar.
Still not sure what I mean? Think about it this way. Imagine the epic that is The Lord of the Rings in all its glory. Now consider how it would have sounded had Stephen King written it rather than J.R.R. Tolkien. Or what about James Patterson? Ernest Hemingway with his short and to the point style? Not the same book is it?
Now, what I was writing the other day was me experimenting with style. What I was trying to write was a comedy while taking into consideration all those things that I mentioned I was learning last week. If you weren’t aware, I have a dry sense of humor. Dry as in mix it with gin and a bit of olive juice and you’d have a dirty martini dry. So I faced a decent challenge in bringing that across to the reader.
The resultant mix was about on par for what I was going for—granted, based on my own opinions. Maybe it could have been a bit funnier, maybe a bit more absurdity, but overall I was happy. So why did I ditch the draft?
First off, I wouldn’t say ditched so much as put on a shelf for another day. I do plan on revisiting this idea someday, but today isn’t that day. There are too many ideas for me not to. Besides, this story would be a labor of love while poking fun at a genre and franchise that I’ve loved all my life. And boy, do I know how to go over the top with this one.
But the second reason was style. I was writing it in a way that was so different from my own that I was consistently re-evaluating the writing process. That’s no way to write a book. Also, the style that I formatted the book in (i.e. how the chapters are designed and written) was something that I was unsure if I could keep up for the period of time necessary to complete the novel.
I did learn a few things however, like how I would have to structure the novel. The importance of point of view for it. How to create something absurd and, more importantly, how to make it work over the long term. Other things. Really, it would have been great had the novel taken off on its own, but did I expect it to? No.
So in putting it down, I closed that story for now. I will be back later, but now, it is time for me to focus on something that I know I can write. Something a bit more serious. More on that some other time.
If you find my blog interesting, please check out my debut novel, The Red Dress!
The Red Dress is a contemporary mystery awash in colorful characters, witty banter, and—let us not forget—murder. That’s what happens when love and politics mix. But not all is doom and gloom. There’s also knitting, romance novels, and a smattering of cooking. If you’re a fan of the genre or in the mood to try something new, give it a shot. I’m sure that you’ll love it.