Thursday, 21 January 2016

52 Weeks of Acknowledging Me



My Writing Style

It has come to my attention that maybe I didn’t really articulate my writing style problems in the post earlier this week and so I thought I’d take a day to actually talk about it, the facts and why I am struggling with it.

First off, the English language is horrible, we can all agree to that. What’s worse is it’s very set in its way, even if it breaks rules that it tells us we aren’t allowed to break and yadda yadda. I don’t need to go on, we all understand.

Which looks like this

1st POV: his eyes never leaving mine, running against all that perfect skin, all that was going to be mine.
3rd POV: His eyes never left Ben, they ran against all that perfect skin, all that was going to be his.
Then there’s me: His eyes never leaving Ben, running against all that perfect skin, all that was going to be his.

If it isn’t clear, I write in a peculiar manner, one that anyone in the publishing industry will change completely. They will take what I’ve written and will make it into what English has told us it’s meant to be. And that’s where my problems lie.

I am finding, over the last couple of years, that my style isn’t fitting in with the editors. That they can try to keep as much of me in as possible. Even to the extent that everything in my books is what I’ve written. But at the end of the day changing the sentence structure, which 90% of the time is paragraph arrangement will strip my stories of me.

Now this isn’t me saying anything bad about my editors, they are all awesome people. I love them, and I need them, badly. I know this, but it’s also showing, just recently that they change quite a bit of my work.

Again, my editors are rock stars and I’d be back where I was in 2014 if weren’t for them. Really, they are great, and they have done everything I’ve wanted. Along with me agreeing with what they have changed afterward. If I didn’t like it, I would tell them so with an understanding and acknowledgment of changing it in a way that makes us both happy. 

What this means is I have to decide what I want to do as a writer.

Do I change my style; do everything I can to try to make my work look like what English has told me it has to look like. It’s something I’ve been encouraged to try a couple of times. That maybe if I write it that way. If I’m the one to create the sentence the way they are meant to be that I wouldn’t see it as losing something, because at the end of the day I haven’t lost anything.

Yet I feel that I have. I think I’ve been feeling that I have for the last 2 years as I become a better more competent story teller. It’s a hard feeling to have, to be aware of and unable to do anything about it. Unable to just do what I’ve been doing for the last couple of years, which has been having my editors fix everything they see (again I have agreed to everything my editors have done, before and after editing starts, I stand behind them and my work).

The alternative is to stay the way I am. To talk to my editors about my style and see if they are okay with still editing me, for content rather than sentence structure. Or maybe not as strongly on the sentence structure side.

This down side to this is having people think that my books haven’t been edited. But then I honestly having gotten a lot of grief with that, not in the sense of anything that HAS been properly edited so it’s not something I fear the most.

I could just start writing in 1st POV, but really, it’s not a type I like and tend to find myself switching to 3rd halfway through sentence. Or my 1st becomes like 3rd should be. Really, my heads a little bit of a mess when it comes to the literature stuff.

I know that in a lot of ways there are people out there that have written like I do. I’m not the only one, but the facts remain that that’s 1 in 1000 or more and doesn’t make great selling. On the other hand, does it? I honestly have no idea. There isn’t enough data and it’s that point that I must think on. Do I change and see or stay the same and, well, see.  

This is what I’m in thought about. This is what I meant when I said I had some thinking to do before I continue writing my already established series as they are already set in 3rd POV and have to stay that way, but do I?

At the end of the day, I have grown enough as a writer to be proud of everything I write, to be able to say, “Yes, this is a good book” and stand behind it without any regret and yet because I’m here I can now see things for what they are and what’s happening around me.

And around me is that I need to also be able to be happy and stand behind my writing and talk to my editors about what I want and how I want to represent myself because I know they will all help me get that way.

I have great editors. I am in a great spot. And I am at a point where I can say I am here and here’s a reason without letting anything negative really drive my books. It’s more an “ok, I see your point, but I still stand behind my book. I am still proud of it”.

I just need to either stand behind my style as proudly as I do the words, or change it and hope that it works that I can see myself in it. I fear I won’t and in that case, it’s all about adjusting the thoughts and what I say I want from my editors because as it is it’s all about the words, and now it needs to be about the style.

In conclusion, because this post isn’t long enough, this is all about me and my growth as a writer to not be focused on one aspect but all aspects and style isn’t something you deal with until you’re confident enough in telling a story.

Also like to again add that this has nothing to do with any of the editors I’ve had to date. They have done everything I’ve asked. They have made my stories better and for that I’m grateful beyond words. This is about me. My growth. My ability to see past my words and see the story.