What is your style?

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HSCook

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Re: What is your style?
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2017, 07:50:22 PM »
Best 1st person books I've read?

Mark Lawrence
Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan and Malorie Blackman for me. Maybe two others if I can find them on my shelf. Rick Riordan does an absolutely amazing job of creating a compelling voice.

Reading back, my phone is responsible for many typos. I shall try to translate in the later morning on iffy bits. Completely agree about the danger side as well.


But I believe the already-restricted form of the short story is a good platform for first person, as it can be more intense.

This! A thousand times this. It can work really well on shorter platforms.
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No One of Consequence

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Re: What is your style?
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2017, 04:17:03 AM »
Rambo
300
Spartacus (The show not the movie)

What do these movies have in common...?

Also muscular men ;) - not that it necessarily has anything to do with style. But does the fact that you chose three shows as examples that all have infamously muscular, beefcake heroes connect to anything?

I ask this question because I know I'm a fan of many heroes in movies and novels who also have distinctive sets of traits (sometimes, but not always physical). I'm a strangely committed fan of Captain America (in spite of my nation's ingrained dislike of the three overs) and I realise that I like him because he's loyal and upright, even when it's inconvenient. He'd much rather be right than cool. I like that

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Sheepy-Pie

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Re: What is your style?
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2017, 09:32:49 AM »
I don't know who is going to survive and who won't.

So the first strike for 1st person is that there is never a reason for me to fear for the narrator. If the narrator was dead then I wouldn't be hearing them tell me the story.

...I want to be left turning pages wondering who is going to die and when. First person takes almost all of the tension out of the story for me

What about first person and multiple POVs? That's how I am writing mine, and have no qualms in killing anyone. There is zilch to say my main MC is going to make it to the end *evil grin*. I can definitely understand where you are coming from though, and thankfully that shouldn't be the case with mine :)

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Almost all the books I read that are 1st person feel stunted and the change comes because it "has" to.

I've never seen this, but then the two first person novels I tried reading I couldn't get into. Would this not be the case for third person too? I'm trying to grasp this one as I really have no clue, but I don't think this one applies to my WIP either. I definitely don't push for anyone to change.

Now I'm super curious what you'd think of how I am doing it :P I'd link you to my chapter one but *cough* JK Muse accidentally deleted the library

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ScribblerKat

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Re: What is your style?
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2017, 11:59:22 AM »
I ask this question because I know I'm a fan of many heroes in movies and novels who also have distinctive sets of traits (sometimes, but not always physical). I'm a strangely committed fan of Captain America (in spite of my nation's ingrained dislike of the three overs) and I realise that I like him because he's loyal and upright, even when it's inconvenient. He'd much rather be right than cool. I like that

I also love Captain America, just for those qualities.

Have we beaten the first person POV to death yet? If so, maybe we could chew on another topic. Narrative info dumps? Dialog tags? Adverbs, yes or no? *evil grin*
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JayLee

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Re: What is your style?
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2017, 01:44:21 PM »
Have we beaten the first person POV to death yet? If so, maybe we could chew on another topic. Narrative info dumps? Dialog tags? Adverbs, yes or no? *evil grin*
Haha, yes. 1st person lies twitching on the ground after a few good punches, but it will prevail. It's not bad, even if it's not everyone's favorite. It can even be quite good :) Also...

Adverbs forever!!!! In moderation. They can be a cheap shot, yes, but they are necessary and lovely. They do what nothing else can do, that's why they exist. We speak with them, and it sounds natural. We should not nix them in our writing. If we try to cut and ignore aspects language instead of crafting and applying all aspects into writing, what in the world are we doing writing to begin with? Adverbs will never fall out of my writing voice, though I try not to use them every few words, and I'm not a big fan of them in dialogue tags (especially above a middle grade book). It's just, sometimes someone says something coldly and there's no two ways about it, so you have to let it slide.

Just don't get me started on active vs. passive voice...
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ScribblerKat

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Re: What is your style?
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2017, 04:17:22 PM »
Just don't get me started on active vs. passive voice...

LOL! I tend to fall into passive voice if I use too many adverbs! Both of those, passive voice and adverbs, can be replaced with stronger, more vivid words. But not every time! Sometimes, the adverb expresses something that can't be done another way without losing the sense. And sometimes passive voice is a shorthand way to express character. Whatever.

But well said, JayLee. Sometimes someone does say something coldly.

I'm a grammar b*tch and love rules, but once we know the rules, we can break 'em. Mwahahaaa
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 04:18:57 PM by ScribblerKat »
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HSCook

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Re: What is your style?
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2017, 05:25:55 PM »
Just don't get me started on active vs. passive voice...

My real problem is people who mistake pluperfect or past continuous for passive voice. The number of times someone has told me something is passive when it's not frustrates the hell out of me

Passive has its place. Not often. But 'Jimmy had called out for help many times.' is pluperfect. It is the further past. An actual tense that indicates time. It means Jimmy called for help before the current timeframe. 'Jimmy was calling for help.' is past continuous. Again, a tense that indicates time. It means Jimmy is calling for help in the current timeframe continously (funny that). 'Help was called for by Jimmy.' is passive. Help is technically the object, not the subject. Jimmy is the one doing and it is done to help. But in this sentence, help is treated like the subject. I really wish people would remember the distinction. I get a lot of comments telling my pluperfect is passive and I want to tear my hair out.

I don't mind passive voice when it is needed, but not every 'was' makes something passive. Extensive passive voice is annoying and should be killed, but sometimes, on occasion, it flows better. For example, talking about Jimmy needing help. 'He had been struck by lightning.' This is pluperfect passive,but when talking continuously about Jimmy, it works well to keep him as the subject, even when he's not. The emphasis is on Jimmy. You could say lightning had struck him, but it takes the focus away from where it is important.

Jimmy called for help; he had been struck by lightning.

Jimmy called for help; lightning had struck him.

Personally, I prefer the first to the second, even though it is passive.

Sorry... Really tired and ranty.
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JayLee

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Re: What is your style?
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2017, 06:15:36 PM »
My real problem is people who mistake pluperfect or past continuous for passive voice. The number of times someone has told me something is passive when it's not frustrates the hell out of me
That's my exact problem :) All these people who are running around "never, ever, ever, use passive voice!!" None of them even seem to know what passive voice actually is, and how ridiculously unavoidable it is to use it. If something were to be 100% active voice... it would sound soooooooo strange. When I'm swapping with someone, and they start to mark all my "passive" voice, I start doing it back, especially on all the things they think aren't passive but are.... They stop marking mine real quick. :)
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Rohierim

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Re: What is your style?
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2017, 07:24:17 PM »
Also muscular men  - not that it necessarily has anything to do with style. But does the fact that you chose three shows as examples that all have infamously muscular, beefcake heroes connect to anything?

I ask this question because I know I'm a fan of many heroes in movies and novels who also have distinctive sets of traits (sometimes, but not always physical). I'm a strangely committed fan of Captain America (in spite of my nation's ingrained dislike of the three overs) and I realise that I like him because he's loyal and upright, even when it's inconvenient. He'd much rather be right than cool. I like that

I think I laughed so hard at this that I almost fell out of my chair. I will say thank you No One of Consequence, I think you made my day after a long hard day of work. No my love of these movies has nothing to do with muscular men, neither with clothes or without them. My fiancee says she finds those parts of these films great, but that may be a different story in her case. I could technically throw the movies John Wick and John Wick Chapter 2 into this mix, which would break that semblance, but it really isn't the point.

For me those movies do one or both of the following. Display what I consider realism in fantasy stories. One of the biggest turn offs for me in a story is either unrealistic character motivations or unrealistic plot endings. This discussion has little do to with unrealistic character motivations but my meaning is when I see characters in books act what I feel is unrealistic if that situation where to happen in real life. An example would be from a novel I just sampled:

Prince wakes up from a heavy sleep and his castle is under attack. Everyone is being slaughtered so he runs to find his father who is the king. His best friend saves him from being hit by an arrow. Of course they stop to have a conversation as arrows fly over their head, they discuss that the Prince is going to look for the king and the friend is going to look for HIS parents who are also in the castle. Then the friend does the following "It would be my honor to protect you while you look for our honorable king". Holy ********************** (you can add whatever explicitives you want there) that would never happen in real life, so I throw that out immediately.

Now on to where the movies above come into play. You read a novel, which carries you through 120,000 words of the worst villian you can think of. I mean murder, and torture and whatever other bad things you want. What do movies similar to the three above have? That said bad guy dies badly in the end. You've spent the entire film/movie making me hate every inch of this person to only shoot him or throw him from a building? No! Pull a Rambo. Disembowel that SOB and roll him down a hill and let his body split into pieces. If you've done your job and I hate that guy..I don't want him go quietly into the night. Make it an ending that people will remember. Make him suffer!

300 is slightly different since we all know how that ends. That movie was just full of some of the greatest monologues in movies. Plus the beautifully coreographed fight scenes are worth watching over and over.

If you look at what I read, I tend to stay at what is considered "grim-dark". Stories where the outlook at everything is very grim with death coming to both sides of the story. Good and Bad. I prefer that in my books and my movies.


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ScribblerKat

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Re: What is your style?
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2017, 02:47:54 AM »
My real problem is people who mistake pluperfect or past continuous for passive voice.

This was an excellent little post on the difference between pluperfect and passive. Kudos!
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Xanxa

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Re: What is your style?
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2017, 09:55:54 PM »
I prefer to write in third person.  I use omniscient for descriptive passages and for some of the action scenes.  When I'm doing more introspective passages, I switch to the character's POV to put the reader inside their head. 

As for my writing style, I've never sought to emulate any specific author.  In fact, I try to keep my style fairly neutral.  I don't want my own personality quirks to get in the way of the story.  Everyone has their stock phrases and ways of expressing themselves and I know I can be repetitive. That's something I'm trying to remedy by varying my sentence structure and cutting out some of my more frequently used phrases.

In my narrative passages, I don't use contractions and I write in a fairly formal manner.  This is done deliberately, to provide a greater contrast between narrative and dialogue.  Many of my characters have quirky ways of speaking and I like to make the distinction between their voices and mine.   

One friend said that my style reminded them of Poe, which I took as a great compliment.  I also did one of those online style-testers a while back and got the result that I write like Kerouac!  I think the test must have been broken.  My style is nothing like his!  Another friend said that I write like J K Rowling, but I think she was swayed by the fact that the scene I gave her to read was about teenage students.  I was flattered, but I don't think I'm anything like J K. 


« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 10:15:05 PM by Xanxa »
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Xanxa

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Re: What is your style?
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2017, 10:07:41 PM »
Just don't get me started on active vs. passive voice...

My real problem is people who mistake pluperfect or past continuous for passive voice. The number of times someone has told me something is passive when it's not frustrates the hell out of me

Passive has its place. Not often. But 'Jimmy had called out for help many times.' is pluperfect. It is the further past. An actual tense that indicates time. It means Jimmy called for help before the current timeframe. 'Jimmy was calling for help.' is past continuous. Again, a tense that indicates time. It means Jimmy is calling for help in the current timeframe continously (funny that). 'Help was called for by Jimmy.' is passive. Help is technically the object, not the subject. Jimmy is the one doing and it is done to help. But in this sentence, help is treated like the subject. I really wish people would remember the distinction. I get a lot of comments telling my pluperfect is passive and I want to tear my hair out.

I don't mind passive voice when it is needed, but not every 'was' makes something passive. Extensive passive voice is annoying and should be killed, but sometimes, on occasion, it flows better. For example, talking about Jimmy needing help. 'He had been struck by lightning.' This is pluperfect passive,but when talking continuously about Jimmy, it works well to keep him as the subject, even when he's not. The emphasis is on Jimmy. You could say lightning had struck him, but it takes the focus away from where it is important.

Jimmy called for help; he had been struck by lightning.

Jimmy called for help; lightning had struck him.

Personally, I prefer the first to the second, even though it is passive.

Sorry... Really tired and ranty.


This also resonates with me.  I use past continuous and pluperfect tenses fairly regularly.  I also use the conditional and subjunctive.  My grammar check hates the latter and seems to get confused by it.  "If I were a rich man", etc.  That old song from "Fiddler on the Roof" had it correct.  My OCD gets all twitchy when I see what ought to be a subjunctive turned into a straightforward past or present tense.  OK, I don't always use subjunctive correctly in everyday conversations, but I make a point of it in my serious writing. 

I also believe there's a good case for using passive voice.  It varies up the sentence structure and can make a sentence have more impact at times, your "Jimmy" sentences, for example.  I have used things like "Realisation dawned on her ..." followed by a momentous revelation.  In some cases it can have more impact than "She realised ..."

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JayLee

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Re: What is your style?
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2017, 12:13:55 PM »
  I also did one of those online style-testers a while back and got the result that I write like Kerouac!  I think the test must have been broken.  My style is nothing like his!
Ahh.... If I could write like Poe, I would be a happy camper. He had a way with tension and unfolding and the musicality of words :) Those online tests are all bust though. My friend showed me and our other co-author because she thought it was super cool (and had said she wrote like Lackey who is one of her faves) and, being cynical... naturally the two of us started putting it to the test and poking fun at it as soon as she sent us the link. We ran a passage from my book through about 8 times, and I got a different author every time. On a scale from Rowling to Lovecraft..... yeah.... that's not very accurate, if the gap is that huge style wise :) We ran a passage of Tolkien through then, and he got three different authors as a match, the first being Rowling (I think the site thinks it can flatter people if they get that), then some obscure indie author, and I don't remember the last.... It was pretty fun.

There is also a test to see what grade level you write at, and we also had to make fun of that one. Running each sample through multiple times gave us different results once again, though it was spot on at pointing out the simple grammatical mistakes and active vs. passive passages and what not. Though it's suggestions for cleaning things up made the passages sound as dry as a brick. And again we ran Tolkien through as a test, and apparently he writes at a 3rd-4th-grade level... haha, yeah right. (the reason we were using Tolkein is because I had the books out at that moment). There you have it, the downfalls of algorithms. Writing and style is a complex art.

And that was a long "I digress" 
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Xanxa

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Re: What is your style?
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2017, 09:36:49 PM »
Ahh.... If I could write like Poe, I would be a happy camper. He had a way with tension and unfolding and the musicality of words :)

I'm reasonably certain that I write nothing like Poe.  I think the friend was trying to be kind, especially since I was taking part in a radio show at the time and an excerpt of my short horror story was being read out on air. 

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Those online tests are all bust though. My friend showed me and our other co-author because she thought it was super cool (and had said she wrote like Lackey who is one of her faves) and, being cynical... naturally the two of us started putting it to the test and poking fun at it as soon as she sent us the link. We ran a passage from my book through about 8 times, and I got a different author every time. On a scale from Rowling to Lovecraft..... yeah.... that's not very accurate, if the gap is that huge style wise :) We ran a passage of Tolkien through then, and he got three different authors as a match, the first being Rowling (I think the site thinks it can flatter people if they get that), then some obscure indie author, and I don't remember the last.... It was pretty fun.

I wish I'd thought of doing that.  I could have run a Kerouac passage through the test.  That would have been an interesting exercise.  I probably should have run two or three different passages of mine too. 

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There is also a test to see what grade level you write at, and we also had to make fun of that one. Running each sample through multiple times gave us different results once again, though it was spot on at pointing out the simple grammatical mistakes and active vs. passive passages and what not. Though it's suggestions for cleaning things up made the passages sound as dry as a brick. And again we ran Tolkien through as a test, and apparently he writes at a 3rd-4th-grade level... haha, yeah right. (the reason we were using Tolkein is because I had the books out at that moment). There you have it, the downfalls of algorithms. Writing and style is a complex art.

I think I did one of these things too.  I can't remember what educational level it gave me but I do recall disliking the suggested improvements. 

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And that was a long "I digress"

But an interesting one.
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