Thompson On: What kind of writer are you…your writing style?
IIF you are sensitive to critics’ comments, the writing “Rules Police”, experts discussing this issue, with such aplomb that they intimidate, then you must turn a deaf ear to this shrill commentary that says: You must write in a certain style in order to be considered a worthy author.
Your writing is created out of your personality. You must reach deep inside your creative self to find how you will put words on paper.
For me, I’m a “Conversational” writer…what does that mean? I write, as if, I’m having a wonderful conversation, over a glass of wine, with the reader. I’m telling a story and I want to capture the reader’s attention, not with long flowery descriptions, but with simple sentences that build incredible word pictures using active verbs and creative adjectives.
A good example is from my first novel, A Brownstone in Brooklyn,
I wanted to describe how a person’s dreams may be answered, but dreams are fleeting and will come and go with the blink of an eye. They never last and I want the reader to understand if you don’t change you will live in the past looking to keep trying to capture that same dream over and over again:
“The most special times in a person’s life are not meant to last forever. They’re like bubbles rising from a plastic ring dipped into a soapy solution. The soap bubbles rise, with the sun flashing brilliant colors, then bursts into a showery memory mist.”
― Julius Thompson, A Brownstone in Brooklyn
I wanted to create word pictures that captured this feeling of a fleeting moment in time.
When watching the Miss Marple TV series on PBS, based on Agatha Christie’s books. One episode was based on In Bertram’s Hotel, and Christie said, “the essence of life is change and we have to adjust and change.”
I wanted to create this moment in my book, with my writing style, as Agatha Christie created with her style in her novel.
For example, I love the sixties, but I can’t live in the sixties, but I must adjust to the music and the moments of the 21st Century.
I remembered the moment that changed a nation. Where I was when it was announced that Kennedy had been shot? I was in gym class at Bushwick High School in Brooklyn, New York on a cool November Day in 1962. It is still fresh in my mind the moment my gym teacher, Coach Diamond, told us the news of Kennedy being shot.
We were stunned. Some of us cried.
Now, I must live in the rhythm of the 21st century with Hip Hop, Rap the threat of ISIS terrorism, pandemics and other dominate themes must be lived through if you want to remain relevant in this present age.
My writing has always been crisp, with short sentence like F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby), Ernest Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea), Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes were Watching God) and Walter Mosley (Devil in A Blue Dress).
My style is not like Tony Morrison, William Faulkner and other authors that are expert in the long complex sentences. That’s their style.
Authors must find their style with experimentation in different writing styles.
I believe what Polonius said to Hamlet, “To Thine own self be true”
Be true to yourself as you write and experiment.
Don’t imitate, but create your own unique writing style.
Do not ever listen to the “Rules Police.”
I wish you much success in finding your writing style and that will help you write fantastic novels.