- Help with identifying WB's writing style
- submitted 23 days ago by fantachoik
- I've been given an assignment to write a story using the writing style of my favourite author. Obviously I wanted to try and use WibblyBob's, but I'm having trouble figuring out exactly what his style is. I can identify specific things he does, but the overall style eludes me. I was wondering if anyone here could help shed some light on this.
- Do your own homework!
- No, in all seriousness, if I had to pin my own style down...
- Broad strokes: Narrative style. At the end of the day, it's about telling a story. It's not meant to be persuasive (if anything, there's a drive toward gray areas), explain a concept (I prefer the three-quarter method, where you give 3/4s of the details and let readers draw conclusions to the remainder), or describe (I'm pretty sparse with character description, at the very least). The fact I lean partially or wholly away from some of the other major styles of writing may point to a heavier lean into narrative.
- There's also a heavy emphasis on writing as, getting into individual viewpoints. Most of the works are first person, spend a lot of time on internal narration and framing each character as rational entities that view the world through specific lenses, with their own forms of emotional intelligence (or lack thereof), with these things drawing on background, key moments in their experience, and the contexts they live in. Further, stories are punctuated by interludes where we see events from different character's eyes. This is in contrast to writing for, where a work will be written for a specific end goal or purpose, or for a specific audience. Aside: this has gotten me in trouble, because I'm a cis white guy (also sorta aro, definitely disabled, but I don't tap heavily into these spaces). While I think I do ok in some contexts, like writing women, where writing for [the benefit of] women and writing as [the viewpoint of a female character] are often the same thing in a world where breasting boobily is a thing, there's been other contexts where I've dropped the ball. I've gotten flack for my writing of 'sociopaths' from people with personality disorders who self-identify as sociopaths, for example. This can come from imperfect understanding or the attempt to work a way to understanding in the process of writing the character, or the [again, sometimes imperfect] writing as conflicting with the for.
- But I'm digressing there.
- The works are long-form epics, generally, in the original sense of 'epic', and are often reconstructions, attempting to justify each setting with tighter internal logic and rationales (societal, character, etc.). Works can be said to sprawl. While the internal machinery tends to get more attention, the overall stories freely have & sometimes enjoy loose ends, sideplots, and introductions of new characters adjacent to the story who don't necessarily directly contribute to main themes, central characters, or narrative. While it's sometimes enjoyed, sometimes it's a symptom of the format of the work, which is mostly first-draft, off-the-cuff, written on a schedule. These elements would be better compared to what one might see in an ongoing and loosely plotted tv series than to a novel (the 'serial' aspect really coming through).
- Tying into that is a 'gardener' mentality, contrasted with the outline-adherent architect mindset of some writers, stories start from seeds and are cultivated or left to emerge on their own. Stories are started without a firm decision on what the endings may look like, and finish with [I'd like to think] a tie back to themes and narrative points.
- Finally, there's the audience aspect. While audiences don't have any say in the narrative, audiences express their joys, frustrations, hopes, and interest after each installment. This does influence the flow of the overall work, as it responds to broader shifts in the audience tone. Again, with some similarities to a TV series, characters may recur or drop away depending on broader reception, or details clarified.
- [I could say more about flow, pacing, and variation in paragraph length, as a speed reader & consumer of content writing to speed readers and consumers of content, but I worry I already sound like I'm self-fellating here]
- Just reread your post, and you've got to write a story in the style. I guess you have to write a million-word epic now. I'm so sorry.
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