Friday, 6 February 2015

A Question of Style

A Question of Style.

As you know I love writing, but the feedback I have been getting from my writing group is that although I tell a good story, my style needs to improve. I know it does and I have been trying to improve it, but sadly I don't think it has improved much.

Someone saying your style is not great is a difficult criticism to take - not really sweetened by the fact that I tell a good tale. I sat there thinking well- that's my style what can I do about that? It worried me too because whilst an editor can help with my flawed grammar, no one but me can improve my style.

To be fair if you self publish you can have whatever style you like.  And whether people like your books or not will depend on whether they like your style. That's fine because I have decided to self publish my next two novels.

But it's not fine, is it? If my style is not great then I owe it to myself and my readers to improve. The same way in which I have been learning about grammar from scratch and learning to touch type (nearly there now!), I need to learn about style. Any author will tell you that writing is a continual learning process - your writing will change (maybe not noticeably so) with every book.

Anyway, in my bid to improve I bought  The Elements of Style and dug out The Oxford Style Manual, which I bought a while back and subsequently never opened!  I've opened The Elements of Style and I can instantly tell I'm going to be able to get through it (It's a slim book unlike the Style Manual) and I feel like I want to recommend it already. Which is why I interrupted my reading to write this.

I shall keep you posted as to how I get on. I am also looking into purchasing Scrivner to help with the formatting and publication of Under the Coconut Tree - so watch this space!