Monday, October 3, 2022

Writing Style: An OpenBook blog post

Welcome to Open Book Blog Hop. You can find us every Monday talking about the writing life. I hope you'll check out all the posts: you'll find the links at the bottom of this post.

Today's question: Does your writing style change depending upon what you are writing?

Since I largely write through a specific point of view, either first person (I) or third person close (s/he/they, with insight into their thinking), the writing style definitely shifts to accommodate those different points of view. 

The Menopausal Superheroes as rendered by Charles C. Dowd

Leonel "Fuerte" Alvarez, a crowd favorite among the Menopausal Superheroes, for example is a heart-on-the-sleeve person, always ready to talk about emotions and noticing how other people react. He's bilingual as well, so you'll find Spanish words and Mexican-American cultural references in his chapters.

The series changes point of view from chapter to chapter, and when I've done it well, my reader should be able to tell that I've changed point of view even if they skip over the chapter title. Patricia "Lizard Woman" O'Neill is much more practical and action-oriented, for example, and far less concerned with possible ramifications of her actions. 

In other work, especially when I'm writing in first person, word choice can become huge. In my Gothic romance (back burnered while I work on Menopausal Superhero #5, but still on my mind!), the main character is a late Victorian-era woman, and there is huge difference in her language and her perceptions of what is right and proper. 

image source

This is also a new genre for me: part historical, part romance, part ghost story. There are genre expectations for this sort of work. Readers will expect a different kind of detail in description, focused on clothing and setting, as well as more lyrical prose. 

So character, genre, and point of view will definitely cause changes in tone and style in my work. I'm always try to do well by the story, and make choices based on what the story demands or needs. And that's what makes it fun! 

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  1. I tried writing a story where a main character switched his style of speech depending upon who he was talking to. It didn't work very well.

  2. My writing style will change, too, depending on what I'm writing or whose POV in which I'm writing. Ideally, my characters shouldn't all sound alike.

  3. Like you, my style would change if I write historical fiction. As L.P Hartley once said... the past is a foreign country - they do things differently there.

  4. I write in first person or close third. Sometimes I slip into second and address the reader. The trick is to create the experience through your character for the reader so the reader can experience it along with the protagonist. Have a beautiful day, Samantha!

  5. It's characters for me. If they are great, then I don't care what genre I'm in. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette