This week we turn our attention to La Maupin, Julie d’Aubigny: sword-slinger, opera singer, and larger-than-life bisexual celebrity of 17th century France. Her life was a whirlwind of duels, seduction, graverobbing, and convent-burning so intense that she had to be pardoned by the king of France TWICE. Read on for more.
I tend to have a rather descriptive way of writing, but for my character's voice, I need it to be simplistic but figurative? (Like some Holden Caulfield but slightly less depressing? Maybe some John Green style in there? I probably failed at explaining this.) How do I go about changing the writing style to where it doesn't sound forced?
Hello, mildly confused anon~ ♥︎
So, where do I begin? I’m kidding you, I know exactly what you’re looking for c; First off, let’s take it from the top:
How do I go about changing the writing style to where it doesn’t sound forced?
Running this blog has taught me that 99% of writing problems have NOTHING to do with writing— but EVERYTHING to do with the writer. Really, when you get down to it all of my answers boil down to: Get out of the way of your story. That story is trying to get you to write it, and meanwhile you get stuck on the first sentence because you think it sucks, or you are worried that nobody is going to take you seriously, or you’re afraid that you will not get anywhere as a writer, or… you’re worrying that your style sounds forced. Do you get where I’m going?
No? Let me tell you a little secret:
Style, theme, and all of those ‘fancy’ things writers like to show off? They don’t exist in the first draft. They appear during the revision, they’re refined, shaped and brought to the foreground as the story is being re-written. That is kind of the point of revision.
My advice? Get out of the way of your story. Just write it. Get the whole story out there. When you’re done let it sit in the background for a few weeks, and then revise it. Read it as though it’s something you’ve never touched before. Read it, find what style it is, what themes it has, and refine them. Your readers will think you’re clever, and your fellow writers will be able to tell all the hard work you put in to it.
“Fiction is a fantastic way of looking out through somebody else’s eyes. You get to experience loss and tragedy and death. But experience these things in a form which means that when you close the pages and put the book back on the shelf, it’s over and you’re home and you’re safe”— Neil Gaiman, during an interview with Robin Young on Here and Now (via la-arboleda)