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Does your writing style change depending upon what you are writing?
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Overall, my style (voice) is consistent throughout my work. How I write doesn’t change between my genres. That said, I think I write differently when I write non-fiction or poetry. This may just be a sense of assuming authority over a topic and speaking with my whole chest on it, or becoming vulnerable. That space is uncomfortable and thus noticeable.
My genres are typically in historical fiction and fantasy fiction. I move within the subgenres: paranormal, thriller, dark fantasy, military. Because my topics have obvious intersections, I think that my writing style suits both. This is not the case, likely, when crossing into non-fiction and poetics.
I’ll be the first to tell you that poetry isn’t my strongest form. Sticking to prose is a preference, of course, but even after studying poetics for years I never quite felt I grasped it as an art I could perform. Much of my poetry is corny. It’s vulnerable and upsetting because it exposes too much. Don’t think for a minute, however, that writing prose isn’t vulnerable. The thing about prose is that you can hide behind characters and distance the self (or ego) from the criticisms of the ideas as the ideas of something(one) else. In many cases, that is true, because our characters are not necessarily ourselves. In poetry, though, that’s all you.
Non-fiction, on the other hand, I feel more secure, like I do with Fiction. At least, I know that I have the hang of the writing form and I don’t sweat any of that. What I do get concerned about is saying something vehemently. The notion that I know what I am talking about is a scary place to be. That comes from years of well-actually responses from others whether I was right (almost always) or wrong (enough to be humble). Nothing is worse for your confidence than being gaslighted about something you’re sure about.
Too many folks feel that their opinions should garner the same respect as fact. Their cognitive dissonance disguises the differences between fact and opinion. I’ve been there, too. You hope that your sense of a matter is correct, yet the facts just oppose those feelings the whole way. It’s a rough spot to be in. However, we really need to come to terms with that. Personal growth is at stake. Then, there is the problem with these things crossing over into political arenas and policy. So much harm is done. I think of how my confidence in what I know I know is so deeply impugned. It holds me back now.
Fighting back to a state of confidence is where you’ll begin to find your voice as a writer, though. Confidence in the words you use is integral to the art. That’s why my fiction and non-fiction are so strong as opposed to poetry. It’s also why they are similar. Those words are my voice. When I speak, I speak with the same voice as yesterday.
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Stevie Turner says
I’ve never studied poetry as an art form, but as long as it rhymes then I’m happy with it. I tend to write humorous poems in the style of Pam Ayres, and prefer a little humour in my novels too. A little humour goes a long way.
Captain Maiel says
🙂 That’s definitely your style showing through.
Richard Dee says
That’s very interesting, I don’t feel that there is much you would recognise as “me” in the words my characters say. Sure, the settings and situations might be based on things I’ve experienced but none of the player’s voices are anything like mine. They say and do things that readers attribute in a certain way and I wonder why I never saw it, or intended to say it like that.
P.J. MacLayne says
Poetry is a whole different language than prose. It can fool even the writer. I’ve gone back and re-read some of my old stuff and found new meanings.