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Archive for July, 2012

About.com on Fiction Writing defines writing style as, “the way you write, as opposed to what you write about (though the two things are definitely linked). It results from things like word choice, tone, and syntax. It’s the voice readers “hear” when they read your work.”

Wikipedia (the definite source on writing :)) defines writing style as, “the manner in which an author chooses to write to his or her audience. A style reveals both the writer’s personality and voice, but it also shows how she or he perceives the audience, and chooses conceptual writing style which reveal those choices by which the writer may change the conceptual world of the overall character of the work. This might be done by a simple change of words; a syntactical structure, parsing prose, adding diction, and organizing figures of thought into usable frameworks.”

I have had a few reviews lately that have commented on my style and it’s surreal once you hear how others hear your words. All of the below excerpts were taken from Amazon reviews:

“The writing is clean and direct with very little flourish.”

“I was quickly entranced by the writing style as I partook in this unique, fascinating adventure. L.E. Waters captures scenery and dialogue with such ease that it’s easy to picture in your head, everything rolls naturally. No stilting, no rushing, no forcing.”

“I had never thought I would enjoy historical fiction however, it is written in such a way that it flows within the story and is very realistic.”

“The author’s writing is clean and well-done, and Waters does an excellent job giving a richness to the worlds her characters inhabit, while still staying historically accurate (at least as far as my somewhat meager knowledge of ancient cultures goes). Her characters are nicely complex while still being likable (that is, they’re not goody two-shoes, but neither are they evil).

“I found the writing to be somewhat flat; it didn’t feel like there was much action going on. I enjoyed the premise, but found the implementation lacking.”

(Oh well, you can’t make everyone happy)

I’ve looked up what clean writing implies and it seems it’s a direct, uncluttered delivery with minimal descriptions, that’s easy to read. So I can see why some may like this non-flowery narrative and others may detest it.

Did I set out to write like this? No. I really wasn’t aware, but I do tend to get itchy reading all the detail in a Dickens or Austen novel (yet I still love them!)  and I have been known to roll my hands rudely when someone tells a story in such a way, “Last Monday night—no, I think it was actually Tuesday and it was late afternoon…”

When I was researching how to revise and attract an agent I read that it was best not use adverbs, slash out needless words, and never use more than two adjectives to describe something within the same sentence. So I obeyed, and with the long list of characters I have it’s probably best to keep everything else simple. But I also write from two male POV and one Spartan female POV(more masculine than most females) in the first book. In these three lives I tried to be more direct and laconic. I wonder if readers noticed that I softened things slightly with the last female POV? I’ve yet to receive any comments about style on my second book but I’m curious to see if my ‘clean’ style is consistent.

Dashiell Hammett, author of The Maltese Falcon, once said, “It is the beginning of the end when you discover you have a style.”

Are you aware of your writing style? Have reviewers or classmates surprised you with comments on your style? Have you ever attempted to change your style? Is it the kiss of death to realize your style?

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I wanted to pass on this link for an ebook sales report just in case some of you missed it:

http://news.yahoo.com/e-books-sales-soar-2011-063045986.html

I think this is extremely positive for self-publishers who have trouble selling their print books. Even though the type of publisher is not specified, I’m assuming they surveyed the big publishers. I would love to see a study if self-publishers’ ebook sales are up as well. Any ebooks sales help out self-publishers though, since it shows that the public is drifting from shopping in the big chain bookstores and searching online where self-publishers like me stand a chance.

The future of publishing will still be a mix of traditionally published and self-published novels, and print books right now still dominate, but it’s good to see that ebook sales are steadily increasing. If you are a self-publisher or debating self-publishing, this increase will only work in your favor. This is especially promising if you are a young adult novelist.

Well, off to the beach 🙂

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A heartfelt thank you to, Diane, for these stellar awards. Diane has one of the most honest and humorous blogs out there. Check her out. Now. I’ll wait.

I never get tired of adding these cute little badges on my side blog and passing them on.

Okay, so you all know how this works, I divulge seven more truths about me or accept the dare…haha:

1) I once had twenty cats at one time (in my defense I lived on a farm and rescued them all from death row). I’ve decreased my cat hoarding tendency down to two now, but most likely will go back to my cat-habit once my kids are grown.

2) I once took out kayaks with my little sister on a vacation and we didn’t realize until we turned to go back into the harbor that the current was super strong. Instead of choosing to be stranded on one of the goat-inhabited sand bars, we clung on to a huge cruise ship that we drifted out to. I sent my little sister up to get help as I held onto the ship and both kayaks like the hulk. We found out later it was one of the most expensive cruise ships in the world. We gave all the old rich folks a thrill for the day; a pathetic rescue at sea.

3) Ruth Chew was my favorite author when I was little. She has some of the best supernatural ideas ever. Buy them to read with your kids!

4) I once had a pet snapping turtle named Spike.

5) I’m mostly of Irish heritage, which does not explain why I look Spanish/Hawaiian/Native American (someone’s got some explaining to do!)

6) When I was young I didn’t wear any shoes all summer—hmmm…explains hobbit feet now.

7) I’m unable to listen to AM radio, the frequency is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

Now to pass on the award love to some truly deserving blogging sistas:

1) Saraflower

2) Ink-Splattered

3) Yesenia Vargas

4) Writerlious

5) Riedel Fascination

6) Morgan Shamy

7) Kathy S. Collier-Mehl

With that, I’m off to notify you all. Can’t wait to learn more about you 🙂

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I’ll admit it. I was one who balked whenever I read others suggestions to write at the same time every day for a certain amount of time/word count/chapters.

Isn’t it better to just pick up your computer and write whenever you got the chance? That must be more productive. And what about writing when inspiration overtakes you? How can creativity be clocked-in?

It wasn’t until I read Catherine, Caffeinated’s fantastic post, Don’t break the Chain, on advice from Jerry Seinfeld about having a daily writing goal, that I wondered if I should give it a try. Everyday. No cheating.

Weeks ago, I was furiously writing (for five days!), then life interfered once again even though the inspiration was still there. How was I going to be productive while still spending time with my kids and giving them a happy summer?

I needed to try something different, so I folded and decided to join Catherine with my pledge of five hundred words a day. No matter what. I know, that’s not a high aspiration, but as with diets, it always helps to keep things reasonable if you want something to work long-term.

Well, it’s been a week and I haven’t broken the chain as of yet!

Funny thing is, I’m writing more than ever. You see, I give myself about an hour everyday to write five hundred words. I don’t spend the time checking all my favorite blogs, books sales, messages, emails…etc. I give the whole hour over to writing. I start writing and quickly reach five hundred words. I say then, okay, now you can stop whenever you want after this, but I usually fill the whole hour and reach three times my goal. The best part is I tell myself that I’m done writing for the day. I can do chores around the house, play with my kiddos, go for a walk without ANY work guilt! It has freed me up completely and I’m more productive.

So now, I’m sorry to all those I chuckled at when I read about writing goals. All those wise writers surely have something there. And if you’re laughing at me right now…please, just give it a try!

…Now, in a totally different direction, I happened upon this picture of the day. Oh boy! I’m sure all you writers out there could have a field day with a flash fiction piece on this one!

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