Thursday, February 17, 2011

Crafting the Style

As a project comes to life out of the emptiness of a blank page the creator is challenged to produce a work that will resonate within the psyche of readers and define itself as a unique perspective.

Out of the mountains of narratives that are produced, every reader has a desire to discover something that stands out. 

While there are many elements a writer can choose to emphasize to impose distinction on their creation, among character, premise and emotion the strongest can be the simplest. Style. 

When looking at the most distinctive stories the first thing that strikes the reader is the style of the narrative. Is the main character a trench-coat wearing detective? Are they a sharp dressed executive? A goth girl & sassy witch? Do they ride the bus or drive a Porsche? Do they live in an apartment or a motel?

Every element that the writer expands upon further distinguishes the world and characters. The objects and settings around the characters become extensions of the characters. If a character needs to be revealed as resourceful and a bit 'rough around the edges' then it can be described through segments throughout the narrative or it can be explained in a battered pick-up truck that they drive.

Genres are born of distinction, unique styles that a number of writers manage to perfect. Once the genre is created it becomes subject to saturation and what was once distinct becomes the standard cliché. Rather than rising to distinction the narratives fall to the wayside adding to the mountains of projects. 

While every narrative has the ability to rise from the mountains of material, it is style that can elevate a project and engross a reader.


Jill Kemerer said...

Yes! All of the details add up to style, don't they? What the character wears, drives, and the word choices he makes. Even the town he lives in adds to the style.

Laura Pauling said...

So you're the mysterious Raven Requiem who has tweeted some of my posts! Nice to find you. And yes, it all comes down to showing not telling!

Michele Shaw said...

Well said, and don't we all want "style." in everything we do?

PW.Creighton said...

Thanks for your comments! So true Jill and Michele, we're all out to create a unique but believable and engrossing world. Laura, great to see you found your way here and extra kudos for the comment. The site of so many discarded books was a bit inspirational and depressing.

Sammy Sutton Author said...

Hello PW,

Excellent, you give a writer a lot of 'food for thought' about a component we often fail to give adequate credit. I share your views about the importance of style. Well said...Thanks for sharing!
Sammy Sutton

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