Is It The Style, Or Is It Me?

Posted: July 14, 2013 in Living and Life, Novel, Reflections, Writing
Tags: , , , ,

Lately I’ve noticed I’m a bit more irritable when I read works by other authors. I had some trouble getting through the slower parts of Stephen King’s Cujo, becoming annoyed with the style of King’s writing (imagine that from me!). And when I was reading the first couple chapters of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, I kept glancing at things she did that I did not like about her writing style. Granted, her book was like a bad combination of Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Da Vinci Code, making it so that I couldn’t get past page 70, but there were still many things about her writing style, particularly in the first chapter, that just bothered me.

Perhaps this might have something to do with my own writing process. Over the past year or so my own style of writing has emerged, and I find myself much more comfortable with that style of writing than I do with other styles. Or maybe now that my own style’s emerged so much, I tend to nitpick at the styles of other authors, thinking about what works and what doesn’t work. After all, I was reading Horns by Joe Hill recently, and while I liked the overall story, the non-linear structure and the lack of warning between traveling bacwards and forwards in time confused me quite a bit. I don’t like to do flashbacks without some sort of warning to the reader, so maybe it has something to do with that.

Not to say that I may just not like reading the styles of other writers. In fact, I’m reading two books right now: one is the zombie novel of a friend of mine, and the other is the memoirs of an Israeli soldier. I find both of their works intriguing and fun to read, though all the military jargon is a bit difficult for me. So maybe it’s not that I don’t like the styles of other writers, but more that I know what I want when I read a novel and when I don’t get it, I feel annoyed.

Whatever the reason is, I’m pretty sure it has something to do with my own writing in some way or another. After all, plenty of the authors I read are responsible for the author I’ve become, so perhaps I’m picking up on something that connects me to them.

What’s your take on this?

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Comments
  1. Ashana M says:

    I think, unfortunately, that is what happens when you begin to write your own work and you pay close attention to it. You also start to approach everyone else’s work as an editor, rather than simply someone who wants to be entertained. It takes a lot more for me now to become lost in a novel, as I find myself revising every awkward sentence and pondering where to cut meandering passages. It’s as if that switch can only ever be turned on–never off.

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