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I'm curious as to the development of how people write and how their methods have changed over the weeks, months, or years. Can a person's eariler writing be possibly better then their newer pieces of fiction? Do some people have an unchanging style?

The more I've been writing I think, the more descriptive I get. Places, emotions, ect... But maybe too much so as too make it confusing and boggling, or just if my general way of writing is not really good. I'm not sure. I am curious as to hear your thoughts on the matter.

If this topic has been discussed already or if I did something wrong, then I apolgize.

Regards - Repcom

10/3/2012 #1

I think our style evolves all the time. Not just with practice, though, but also according to what kind of story we write. I think I have a style that can be recognized throughout many of my stories, and I know there are certain devices I like more that others: I am, for example, more than usually focused on the rhythm and sound of the language. Still, this will be more noticeable in some of the stories than in others -- even if I am not counting my narrative poems among the stories. In my shorter vignettes, for instance, I have more often been conscious about rhythm than I am in my long multi-chapter. But even in that I have passages where the rhythm is important. Or, I have used it as a device.

I have in some ways become less descriptive, but I have also gone from writing short pieces to writing a very long story, and long stories demands different things than short vignettes where a description can be the whole point. And I have not really given up descriptions, I just have begun to write more actions and dialogue. Part of it, I thing, is as I have said, because of the difference in the stories/genre.

10/3/2012 #2

As a new writer I know exactly where you're coming from.

I've also gotten more descriptive as time has gone on. A rewrite of my first fic has had a fairly drastic change in word count, 175 words ballooned out to 1200!

I'd like to think my characters have improved over time as well. My first fics were very parsimonious with descriptions and interactions, and fairly fast paced. I do miss that sparseness a bit, but I think my storytelling is better at a slower pace. I definitely feel your pain in not knowing if the flowery prose is masking the storyline though :/

10/3/2012 #3
That Way

I'm curious as to the development of how people write and how their methods have changed over the weeks, months, or years. Can a person's eariler writing be possibly better then their newer pieces of fiction? Do some people have an unchanging style?

Earlier writing can definitely be better. Lots of times writers experiment only to find out it doesn't work. Or a writer can get lazy/fall into bad habits. Or she can simply grow overconfident with success and rush to get new material out to satisfy her audience or believe she has nothing more to learn/improve and her writing stagnates.

Others probably hit on a winning or comfortable style at some point and stick with it: an 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' mentality. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. There's no 'perfect writing formula' we're all trying to find, so if the way you write suits your stories and your audience, go ahead and stick with it and make minot tweaks/adjustments as needed.

10/3/2012 #4

I started writing as a kid, so I hope my current style is not worse than my writing years ago : P ...

Kidding aside, yes, writing does evolve over time, not to mention a "fully developed" writer's style can change too, through different genres for example, the same way as there are film directors whose movies are so different from each other that it's hard to guess which films they've directed over the years.

What I experienced in my novice years (not saying I'm a master wordsmith now, but let's assume I'm better than my fourteen-year-old self, hopefully) is one: the writing style changes with the mood of the writer, yes, but more importantly, with the overall personality and system of thoughts and beliefs in their head. So when I finally developed my real views on the world and its various elements like emotions, friendship etc. based on real life experience, my writing style fleshed out a bit too and stopped changing so much.

Another thing I noticed when I was still experimenting on style is there was a period when my style changed according to what I was reading at the time. It was an interesting case of fanfiction, come to think of it, only not borrowing a writer's story and characters, but borrowing their writing style. As many people have said, a writer develops not only as s/he writes but as she reads too, so the more examples of writing I've seen, the more I started sensing my own style, my own methods.

Personally, I'm a very slow writer, so this resulted in a 300 page manuscript of a novel tossed in the trash because my style was still evolving over the years I've written it and it wasn't consistent. I have saved the two or three things that were good from it and wrote them into my current work-in-progress novel, which, if I might add, is still being written at a glacial pace.

Anyway, as I've seen from the posts and as I heard from others, many people come to the same conclusion as me: that their early writing was faster and more movie-script-like, and over time it became more descriptive as they started getting interesting in setting a scene and not just telling the core of a story. This is what happened to me too. As I read the novels of various authors I realized I'm a fan of description and don't care much for the "let the readers imagine the majority of the material for themselves" style of writing. Off topic a bit, I know, but it's a point to people's different tastes: I think when I'm reading a story, I want to see a lot from what the writer imagined, what s/he saw when the story was written. If I want to imagine my own things, I'm writing my own story. So naturally I started writing accordingly, and yes, a reader can figure out from my writing what the main characters look like. Another thing for example is that I realized don't care much for long inner monologues, so I started writing less and less of those until I developed (like many before me) the concept of the famous "show, don't tell".

So what I'm saying is: my style evolved as I developed my opinions on what I think good writing was - basically, I started writing what I would like to read, but not like my younger self who started writing like King because he just read three of his books. Now I have a concept in my head, and it can be described without author names.

As for Repcom's questions:

A person's earlier writing being better than the current style. Possible, especially if the writer is still experimenting. We've also probably seen at least one author who had their own style but (no whimsical rhyme intended) it's gone stale over the years. So I think to avoid this, one should have an opinion about what their own style is, and then change it up with things like... well, let me get some own examples: Changing narration and starting a story from the end. Writing in different genres and mixing them. Or simply: Writing a different story. I mean, writers get stale when everything stays the same and even the stories seem similar. Have different twists or different premises, or if it's a series, different problems, and so on. Then it won't get boring.

If you're still in the experimenting stage, then I wouldn't worry too much about it. After all, you have taken a step by having the opinion that your writing has its flaws. You have an opinion on what good writing is. Naturally, you'll strive for that, and in the process develop your own style, maybe even the same way as I described.

Oh, and if you allow personal and subjective advice: I don't think you should cut back on the descriptions. Just try and pace them differently, for example with what Ragnelle said about rhythm, playing with words and sentence length and things like that. Placing the descriptive paragraphs around, dividing them with one or two lines of dialog... There's a lot of ways it can be done. So what I'm trying to say here is maybe the fact that the story/stories you were talking about became confusing not because of the amount of descriptions but because you have to try a different approach with them.

I already wrote a lot, so if anyone's interested in more of my ramblings, feel free to ask, but I'm done for now xP . That was my input on the subject, and hopefully not all of it was rubbish : D .

10/3/2012 #5
I think I had better imagination when I first started writing. As of late though, I've been less inspired, but my writing has gotten better.
10/3/2012 #6

@shadyboy: I think I'm actually the opposite to you in terms of imagination! XD When I first started, I had real issues trying to come up with ideas for stories. Now the problem is staying focused on one story at a time. A recent example is when someone rolled a set of letter dice during a coffee session, 'wisherd' came up and next thing I knew, my mind was busy mapping out the story of Tamran the wish-herder and his epic quest to reunite the people of The City with their secret wishes...

10/3/2012 #7
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