Some authors have a distinctive style that they stick with from one book to another, but I deliberately varied mine to suit the different genres and tones I was playing with.
Today, I'm going to take a look at the various writing styles I used, and reveal why I chose each one.
My Fugitive and Voice of a Silent Fugitive
My Fugitive and Voice of a Silent Fugitive are both very poetic. I avoided making simple statements like "he struggled to swallow because this throat was dry", in favor of more descriptive phrases like "he swallows, straining against the barrier of his own dry throat".
I also departed from my usual habit of writing in the past tense and third person, and used a first person, present tense narrative style instead.
These two stories are both heavily laced with metaphors, reflecting the filters through which the characters view the world. They both have their own beliefs and mental narratives about the world and their place in it, and everything is shown through that lens.
Why I chose this writing style:
These two books are highly character-centric. While I didn't neglect the premise and plot, the characters are very much the core of these novels, and I wanted to fully immerse the reader in their minds, hearts and worldviews.
I wanted the books to have an eerie, haunting, stream-of-consciousness feel, with a bit of surreality mixed in.
This decision was inspired by a few different things. One was a review of Angel's Egg on THEM Anime Reviews , in which the reviewer commented on the surreal nature of the anime, the sparsity of dialogue, and its highly artsy nature.
It was one of those reviews that made me wonder how the creators pulled it off, while inspiring a feeling of "I want to try that."
Another source of inspiration - or perhaps I should say challenge - was the TV Tropes article on "Stylistic Suck".
The version of the article that I read back then noted that it can be difficult for a writer to create an alternate style that's as good as, or better than, the one they normally use. As a result, whenever they have a character who's a writer or an artist, that character's work is likely to be inferior to the art or writing of the overall story.
I decided to take that as a challenge. I wanted to see if I could write in a way that was a significant departure from my usual style - first person instead of third person, present tense instead of past tense, and far more poetic and metaphorical than my norm - and still make it good.
Did I succeed?
On the opposite end of the spectrum from My Fugitive and Voice of a Silent Fugitive, you find Catgirl Roommate.
The writing style in Catgirl Roommate is much more quick and to-the-point than the Silent Fugitive series, except for the moments where it's time for character development to happen, and Sam turns introspective.
This style turned out to be a serious challenge to write, as it required as much poring over the descriptions to make them funny as the first two books did to make them poetic.
I also found, while editing my first draft, that I use the words "flail" and "flounder" a LOT... which should say something about the level of gracefulness that the cats who inspired the novel display. :P
Why I chose this writing style:
When I'm reading or watching something funny, and there's an interminable leadup between the jokes, I can end up getting bored, and thinking I came here to laugh - get on with it, would you?
So in this humor novel, I eschewed long descriptions for the most part, and I made a point of making as many descriptions as possible funny rather than poetic.
Out of all the novels I've published or am soon to publish, Heroic Lies was definitely the most natural to write.
While doing a plot in medias res was a new challenge for me, the writing itself used my default style: a mixture of vivid imagery, funny and sarcastic dialogue, intense feelings, and a style that was more balanced between the quick and comical and the slow and poetic, leaning in one direction or another depending on the scene.
And, of course, it was in the third person and past tense, which is how I usually write.
No particularly in-depth or fancy decision-making went into choosing to write with my own style, but it certainly did make things easier.
Want some samples of these 3 writing styles?
You can read excerpts of all 4 books directly on this site, no downloads required.
Here are the links: