While reading about writers I’ve found a differing opinion on writing style. I find that some, when referring to style, are using the word in the term of a writers voice and how they “say” the words while others are referring to the pacing and flow. The way I’m using the term “style” is in reference to the overall process of writing from the planning to the flow and voice. However being inexperienced I may be way off base and have no idea what I’m talking about. It wouldn’t be the first time that was true.
For the longest time (whoa oh oh) I wrote off of the top of my head and it worked beautifully. It wasn’t beautiful in the sense that I accomplished so much but what I did write I thought was really good, it’s what kept me going when I thought there was no hope. The problem with this style of writing was that I needed an extraordinary amount of time to produce anything of value and even then it wasn’t enough to finish anything. The next time I sat down to continue I lost the feel for what I had been writing and I couldn’t get it picked back up again. This usually happened because I didn’t often write on consecutive days and it usually wasn’t within a couple of days of each other.
A couple of years ago I had tried to start my writing on a different wordpress blog. I thought the ruin to my success was that I was trying to write off the top of my head and I needed to plan better. When I would write before I would lose my focus and my plan for what I had been writing. The words would melt off of my fingers and spill onto the page like an icicle at the start of spring. All of the ideas were front and center and marching around in my mind waiting to be called. When I stopped everything died and the magic couldn’t bring them back to life when I started up again. If I planned everything out when I had it all ready and waiting then I could jump back right where I left off. This was going to be the key to my success, only it wasn’t.
Planning was a great idea. It would solve my “lost it” problem as well as give me a better idea of what kind of story I was going to write and where it was going to go. I could even taken down notes whenever they came to me and fit them into the timeline of the story at a later date. I could pick and choose what part of the story I wanted to write if I broke it into chunks to chew off at anytime. I didn’t have to be linear, which I never really was. My brain doesn’t think that way a lot of the time anyways. The problem was I executed the plan poorly. I was writing to document my thought process as I wrote and that’s what the blog was, but I never wrote. I wrote in the blog about my ideas and I had really good ones. I wrote in the blog about what I wanted to do with those ideas and how I would structure them. They were all great to work off of but I never followed my plan of actually going back and using what I had written to develop it into a story. Once again a great start fell apart.
I picked it back up at the beginning of this year and made two posts, one of which was a re-post and the other was a “oh hey I sucked the last time. Let me wipe the slate clean and start over.” I didn’t post again until the beginning of last month, which was the beginning of this new charge of the write brigade. I decided to start over on a new blog with a name that was a little less obvious for historical confusion and a little more defining of me.
Where I think I need to be is in the middle of the two styles. If I stick my original way of writing where I just write off the cuff and let my mind take over I get my best work, however planning would give me a lot of benefit for structure and cohesion of the story. If I plan out what I want to write and then let my imagination take over whichever section of the story that it wants to go for I could get the most out of my time and write the best I can possibly write. (I’ve said “write” too many times now.) (Write.) My style will encompass everything. It will aid my voice and keep it consistent so it has a definitive feel to it. My pacing and flow will be improved and it won’t be obvious that I went seven days between writing one paragraph and the next. I’ll have something that works from each side to help me succeed as a writer. Now all I need to do is start writing.
There is no satisfactory explanation of style, no infallible guide to good writing, no assurance that a person who thinks clearly will be able to write clearly, no key that unlocks the door, no inflexible rules by which the young writer may steer his course. He will often find himself steering by stars that are disturbingly in motion.