A Writer's Style

A writer's style is as different from one to another as their handwriting. It is always unique. You may be similar to other authors, or imitate your favorites, but your style of writing will always be unique to you. I think opening a book is like opening a window into the author's life. A book will say something very definite about its author--and that's a good thing. It makes stories perpetually interesting and original.

I've had several people ask me, "how did you write a book?" I think that's like asking an artist how they make a painting, or an athlete how they win a race. It's hard to explain per se. Obviously through a lot of time and prayer. But I would say, two things invariably go into your profession. Talent, as given by God, and practice, as what you put into it. The way to get better at writing is to keep writing.

They say the worst reason you can set about writing a story is to make money. Because that will come through in your book. You won't put your heart into it. Your thoughts and goals will be centered on dollars and sales. That's not why you should publish a book. The most important thing about writing a book is telling and sharing a good story.

How you go about putting that story on paper will be different for each writer. For myself, I never know how the story is going to go until it's finished. My goal is five pages a day, or twenty-five pages a week, or one hundred pages a month. So, even if I have no idea what to write, I sit down and write those five pages--whatever they turn out like. Some rough outlines for your plot will help, and sketching traits of characters, but really it's about putting yourself into your characters' situations and thinking, what would I do next, or how would I like this situation to turn out if I was there?

That's just about how you write. Then your style will be unique to yourself. I'm one for a lot of dialogue. I hate reading pages and pages of descriptions, so I tend not to write like that either. Not to say there are merely vague generalizations, but I like to let the reader picture scenes for himself and fill descriptions with his own thoughts of what it looks like. And as far as a story goes, I feel like sometimes it just writes itself. I am constantly adding things as an afterthought, and somehow it works into the book like it was meant to be there.

So, then how do you write a book? By writing a page. And another page. And another page. Perseverance is the key, as well as good characters, good plots, and good endings.

Look forward to my post next week about my new book!