It’s odd, but I have to admit that I have considered my writing style (yes, before this post). This self-identification wasn’t born from vanity, writing prompt, or from my crony old English teacher; my discovery was both accidental and a little depressing at the time.
My first “real” reading adventure – not some droll assignment during Jr. High – involved a quick stroll through a dusty south Florida flea market; author Stephen King; and a bunch of bloodthirsty, domestic vampires; I was hooked…
And I wanted to write just like that!
My foray into attempting to write fiction led me to my grand discovery – I really wasn’t very good at writing fiction. I didn’t give it a huge go and I’ll be the first to admit it. I also know that practice really does make perfect, but fiction and stories just don’t seem to ”flow” well from me (or my muse?). I can make it happen when I need to, but that’s exactly what it looks like – something made up. Not good.
I did eventually find out that some of my best ideas came when I either, “said it like I meant it”, or sort of, “didn’t say it like I meant it”. Confused? I was, too. Explanation: it seems like I do better just stating the facts, or by using a lot of metaphor, poetry or impressionistic ideas. Writing in these two styles keeps me from endlessly babbling – something I can easily do too much of. You can’t really babble endlessly for too long using metaphor or poetry; and as far as listing facts – well, enough said.
So, in my usual style (Listing: have you noticed the pattern yet – I LOVE to list things; a throwback and old habit from childhood. More on that in another post, I promise…), here is my best description of my Writing Style (drum roll, please…):
1) First Question: “Do words just “flow” from your mind to your fingertips?”
No, they do not; I wish they did. They do seem to flow – however – during my SLEEP. They also seem to flow while I’m DRIVING, during MEETINGS, SHOPPING, and whenever pen and paper ARE NOT HANDY. I purchased a voice recorder, but hearing my own voice freaked me out so bad, that I couldn’t retain my train of thought (or any other kind of thought for that matter…). (Note: I try to remember to take my trusty pen and notebook to bed with me every night, because as sure as the wind will blow – or some other dumb cliché – I will get TONS of ideas… and they will be after 1:00 A.M., but before 6:00 A.M.!!!)
2) “Do you like handwriting first?”
Again, no; for some as yet undiscovered reason, I just don’t seem to prefer pen & paper. I think the idea looks so cool in theory (I’ve heard all the stories about the modern authors who’ve written all their “best stuff”, using old ball point pens scribbled on crumpled Holiday Inn napkins…): to sit in an abandoned diner in Paris, or under a 200 year old elm writing your best masterpiece and using only a quill and parchment – every writer’s dream (!?!?). For me, I do my best right at my computer. I don’t think the ease for me comes because the words go down faster; I think it’s just how my brain connects with that keyboard: “Oh, keyboard, must be time to really do something.” Anything other than jotting down notes, ideas, 2:00 A.M. inspirations, requires time at those keys, and I don’t mean, “piano”.
3) “Do you plan your posts?”
Yes, sometimes I do; especially when the ideas arrive at three in the morning. I sometimes have to actually sit down and plan (these are the posts that I feel don’t do that well), but I usually get my best ideas while out walking;, in bed sleeping; and while generally busy doing something else during a pen & paper drought. (Note again: I usually have an idea what the next post or few posts are, so they are in my subconscious; I think that’s how the ideas come: the prompts are somewhere in the back of my mind – where the muse must “live” – and while I’m out walking or especially while trying to sleep, the ideas start… flowing/keeping me awake.)
4) “Title first, or last?”
My ideas for titles almost always show up after I’ve written something. It seems like once the writing is finished, a theme or feel emerges from the paper; this is usually my title.
5) “Where do you write best?”
Not to be redundant, but I do all writing better at my computer; my best ideas come from not-so-convenient times and places. Once the muse knows I’ve sat down to write, he appears to not-appear. While I’m doing something else, ideas are everywhere; I just have to sit down – with my ideas that I’ve hopefully written down somewhere – and get started. “HE” eventually shows up.