I Write Like……

I said in my last post, The Elements of My Style, that I would be writing on my actual writing style, because once you get all the grammar down, we all have a distinct style, though apparently not as distinct as I thought if you will continue reading.  Sorry, it’s a bit long winded.

A while ago I wrote a post talking about how we female writers can learn from our male counterparts in the post, Learning From Male WritersGeorgefloreswrite and I got into a mini discussion on our writing styles and she directed me to this amazing site that analyzes your writing and tells you what famous writer you write like.  This site is incredibly cool called simply I Write Like

I decided to take a test run through much of my flash fiction and see what style it’s like.  Below are all the posts that I thought I would add in, which is most of them.  I’m sorry, I got carried away last night and kept adding and adding.  I have analyzed some of my other writings and they come out a bit more male as well. Go figure because I’m a girly as can be…

My style, apparently is that of male writers.  I was actually kind of shocked and flattered in many aspects.  First off, I will say this, most of these writers I’ve never read.  I have the Stephenie Meyer Twilight books, sue me, but as far as that, I really have not read most of these authors that my style is like.

I’d say I’m most flattered by how many of my Flash fiction posts were written in the Stephen King style.   I have never finished On Writing by him, but one thing I took to heart from his direction was to cut out the adverbs and simplify.  I have done that.  I was so mad at Mr. King when I read that because, I LOVE adverbs.  I would use them all day long, especially when dialogue is going on.  I hate the ‘he said/she said’ bull—-  (sorry, I’ll keep it clean but y’all know what I mean) I like  pizazz when I write and adverbs add that extra layer. 

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

However, in the past few years I’ve learned that it’s okay to cut out the adverbs, and extra descriptions.  I don’t need to describe everything exactly as it is in my head.  My readers will make their own pictures.  I don’t need every little detail.

That being said, I still try to emulate Emilie Loring, whom I’ve gone on and on about at regular intervals.  Right now I’m reading her books and trying to pick up bits of descriptions from her style.  Whether or not I’ll ever be able to copy her work is another thing. I  suppose the best thing is to take all these authors, whom I aparently write like, and mash it all together…. Though after just trying out a Chuck Palahniuk book today, I’m not sure I want to write like him.

I’m also really flattered that one of my posts was similar to Neil Gaiman.  While I’ve only read a couple of his books, he is brilliant. I can’t explain why, but that man has SERIOUS talent.

Clearly I need to check out some of these other authors and see what their style really is like.

So, what about you, dear readers?  Who do you write like?  Someone you admire?  Someone you hate?  What is your style?  Click the I Write Like link at the top of the page and have some fun with your writing.  You never know what you might learn about yourself.

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The Long Winded Examples of My Writing Below

Ernest Hemingway

Stephen King

H.P. Lovecraft

Stephenie Meyer

Chuck Palahniuk

Neil Gaiman

Cory Doctorow

Raymond Chandler

Anne Rice

James Joyce

Dan Brown

Robert Louis Stevenson

William Gibson

Douglas Adams

J.D. Salinger

Writing on

~K.L.B.

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And I Need Visual ‘Collages’ For Writing

The Bookends Love TriangleI need visual when I write. Hence why I keep my Martha Stewart Living magazines and why I love to find my ‘character’ pictures.  I love a visual of what I want my houses to look like and what clothes my characters wear.  Honestly, I think it’s just a reason to keep pictures that I like looking at.

I have kept all my Garnet Hill catalogs since my one character, Mia, is modeled after one of their models and the clothes she wears.  I should scan my catalogs, but tactile and by hand is much more enjoyable.

Recently, I was playing around with a marvelous picture editing site, PicMonkey.  I love PicMonkey.  I think Shala over at Caterpickles  had originally introduced me to this wonderful place.  I have been able to overlay an image for my own pictures.  Anyways, PicMonkey has added a ‘collage’ section to the picture editing, and I am in love.  I have always wanted to combine groups of pictures in an easier format to keep ideas together.  Now I have that tool.

The main image of this post, at the top, if you missed it… because, it’s like, um, so small……Was made using the collage tool.  I was actually playing around and I just sort of came up with something, but in the process I have found my three main characters for my Bookends storyline.  You have my heroine, Mia.  My hero, Rafe.  And my new character model for Mia’s boyfriend at the start of the novel, Philip (Phil).

I lucked out and found a perfect house on Tumblr, that I want for Phil’s house, and that is now named.  I have my character models.  I have my visual models.  Sigh.  I can’t get enough of looking at it.  It doesn’t hurt that my hero is Colin O’Donoghue.  Or that I have decided that the very handsome, mustached Martin Freeman from Sherlock, is my model for Phil. (side note, could you get sexier models?) (Don’t answer that because I want to live in my dream world of sexy men)

Well, I this post is mostly to share the wonderfulness of being able to make a collage to use for writing.  I suggest it for writers who need that visual.  I certainly do.

Writing on

~K.L.B.

Dabbling In Songwriting

STOP!

Don’t even go where you think I’m going.  I’m not actually writing song lyrics.  Thinking about it, yes, doing it, not so much.  As a write,r many things catch my fancy as far as wanting to dabble in writing them.  I’ve flirted with the idea of writing lyrics for a while.  As an amateur poet, it’s not a far step from writing poetry to writing lyrics.  For if you really read lyrics you can see the poetry in them.

Phillip Phillips in his ‘Home’ music video. He has to be writing.

Lyrics are pure poetry.  Most of the time. I do have criteria, rhyming is pretty much a must.  But beyond that, I’m pretty open.  I mean, there is such a thing as bad rhyming.  I’ve seen some things that you really can’t even call rhyme, and free verse is really a bad idea for songs.  Heck, sometimes it’s even bad for poetry.

Beth Rowley

However, I have not actually started songwriting.  I’ve had a slight buzz to try it out after watching Beth Rowley‘s ‘So Sublime’ music video, Phillip Phillips ‘Home’ music video, and falling in love with The Enemies song ‘Pretty Valentine.’  (For those of you just joining us, The Enemies is my new obsession and I fear I shall be mentioning them more often than not.  So you might as well just get used to them. Or better yet, check them out….)

‘Pretty Valentine’ has some absolutely perfect lyrics.  For instance, take these two stanzas:

Say you will be mine
Until the end of time
Until the Stars align
My Pretty Valentine

Where the warm wind blows
There grows honey-suckle rose
And the time just slows
Like still water froze

See, they rhyme beautifully.  And yes, by saying that, I’m complimenting the author

Johnny Crean, lyricist and guitar/saxophonist for The Enemies

of the lyrics, Johnny Crean.  And yes, that is sort of a shameless plug for the band.  Again.  Bear with me.

I’ve wondered though, what really is there that differentiates song lyrics from poetry?  I mean, that above was just a quatrain, though lines 1 and 3, and 2 and 4 rhyme, whereas a usual quatrain has only lines 2 and 4 rhyming.  It doesn’t really matter, all I’m getting at is how it is basic poetry.  So why is a lyricist that and not just a poet?  Does anyone know the answer to this?

Either way, I may or may not dabble in lyrics.  I’m not good enough at writing poetry, let alone really getting good lyrics.  But, one can dabble, and I think that’s good.  We can get too stagnant if we just stick with what we are comfortable with.  I like breaking out of the mold and trying something new.  Even if I’m not that good at it.  You never know where something might take you.

And hey, the journey is half the adventure anyways.

Writing on

~K.L.B

And Who Were You As A Child, Sheriff of Nottingham?

Somebody has already beaten me to this post (Cassie) but I wanted to add to the discussion.

Like Cassie, I have always wondered about the back story of characters I like. What made them the way they are, how did they get to the point of being good or evil, what was their childhood like, things like that.  One that came to mind with Cassie’s post was the character of Frank in the Transporter films, played by the very gorgeous Jason Statham.  They allude to Frank’s military career in the first film, but they never elaborate.  What made Frank become a Transporter?  I want to know.

Really bad guy. Sheriff of Nottingham played by Alan Rickman (practice for playing Snape I guess.)

Now one character that I really want to know about, or write about is the Sheriff of Nottingham.  He is this totally despised character in the legend of Robin Hood.  But he is cool.  Sort of.  I’m kind of picturing Alan Rickman‘s portrayal and his true badliness.  He is the baddest of the bads.  Isn’t he? The ultimate bad boy.  And come on, just between us girls, don’t we all sort of crave a bad boy?

A truly funny version of the Sheriff

A truly funny version.

So, okay, you have this evil dude.  But what made him so nasty?  You read the wikipedia article about him (click the first mention of the Sheriff above and it will take you to wikipedia)  and there is no real clear idea of who the real sheriff was.  But there have been many portrayals of him.  Some humorous, aka Disney’s version and then the one from Robin: Men in Tights….. and others truly nasty.

Cassie’s theory was that he had a wife and she died in childbirth. Plausible, but is that what makes him desire Maid Marian? Well at least in some stories.  Depends on how adult you want the story. Disney is nice and clean, but then so is Disney’s Hercules which makes Hera out to be his mother and all lovey dovey. But I digress.

I want to write about what the Sheriff was like in his teenage years.  Did he struggle?  Was he on his own?  Did he come from money?  All kinds of questions I need to answer if I ever decide to write about him.  They have all kinds of stories about a young Robin Hood, Marian, heck, even Will Scarlet (and there’s even a version where Will Scarlet is actually a woman named Scarlet), but none about the villain.

And back to my original point. I want to hear the back stories on characters.

Anyone else like that too?

Writing on

~K.L.B.

Sing Me A Song, Tell Me A Story

The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia

The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve always had this thing for songs that tell a story. I mean, really tell a story.  Two that come to mind are “Fancy” by Bobby Gentry and “The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia” by Vicki Lawrence. Yes, Reba McIntyre did both of those songs as well, but I really prefer the originals, especially “Fancy”.

I’ve always wanted to expound on the stories told in these songs and actually have a book about them.  I think The “Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” has one of the coolest stories. Violent, but cool.  It reminds me of Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts. If you are interested in that, read the book, don’t watch the Lifetime movie. While the movie was sort of fun, it was seriously lacking.  Read the book.

Anyways, I want to turn some of these songs into books.  Another couple I love are Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me”.  Okay, part of what makes those songs come to life are the music videos.

That’s another thing.  There are several music videos that tell the greatest story, even though the song might not.  Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” comes to mind as a recent song that has a great plot…  Okay, the weird maze part mostly.  It makes me think of a maiden, or princess.  Why is she there?  Where is she going?  Will she get out?

I never know if I will ever be able to write a story based on any of these things, but I do so want to.  I know it’s crazy since I have a million other things to write about, but  hey, my head needs to have some things to think about.

Does anyone else ever want to tell the story that is in a song?  Or do they see a story in a music video? I’m not alone in this am I?

Writing on

~K.L.B.

Of Love Letters And Flash Fiction

Cover of "Bright Star"

Cover of Bright Star

I shan’t write much here as I’m not horribly inspired, and I just finished writing my 100th post.  I sort of did it backwards writing that first before this one, but well, one has to have a little bit of fun when they are inspired to write their 100th post instead of their 99th. 

I’m in an Emilie Loring frame of writing right now and I’m working on flash fiction with a Loring twist.  It’s Christmas inspired, and I hope to post it over on Kate’s Bookshelf just after the holiday.  I know it will be a bit late in coming right with Christmas, but it will be close enough. 

I started reading one of Emilie Loring’s later novels that her sons published, and you can tell Ms. Loring didn’t do much of the writing.  The style isn’t hers at all, really, and I wonder how I never noticed before.  I think if you are going to attempt to publish books with an author’s name, and then not have it like how that author would do it, you really should go back and read their work first.  It’s as clear  as day that this book is nothing like Ms. Loring’s original works.  Oh well, I’m still inspired and I hope that my bit of flash fiction meets with my criteria.

I’m also inspired to read the letters between John Keats and Fanny Brawne.  I’ve been watching Bright Star and the romance between those two with those letters is heartwrenchingly beautiful.  They make you want to cry and wish for a romance of letters.  I’d love to have a man court me like that.  And while I’ve been courted through letters, which were emails really, nothing is quite like one of Mr. Keats’ letters.

So, there is my 99th post.  Should do fine, and the final post of 2011 shall be posted next week, on the 31st of course.

So until then, have a safe and joyous Christmas.

Writing on
~K.L.B.

This Incessant Need To Keep Books

Books

I did a purge last week.  Oh, no, not that disgusting thing!  Where is your mind, people!  I’m talking about a book purge.  Yes, me, queen of collecting books, decided she needed to eliminate some of her collection.

Now, before I get going, most of what I purged was not considered good fiction.  Not probably even great fiction.  I eliminated romance paperbacks.  Yep, I collect romance books.  Now, I don’t collect everything there is of that genre.  I do have some taste, thank you very much.  I tend to collect regency novels.  I love the regency era, or what I’ve read of it in romance books. Dukes and Earls…. Barons, Viscounts, ladies, maids… Oh yes, it’s all quite romantic.

However, I decided that when I have a collection of books I don’t plan to ever read again, it’s time for them to go.  Now, the reason I was keeping them was many times I read a paragraph, a page, or a character that I like, or even love.  And as I sometimes indulge my fantasy of writing romance fiction, I want to keep said inspiration for a later jolt when I might need some help.  However, when I’m keeping that many books just for inspiration of a couple of pages, it seems pretty ridiculous.  (ooh, I scared a boggart there) (Sorry, Harry Potter joke)

I was able to eliminate at least 20 to 30 books the other day, and it felt great.  I still kept all my Lisa Kleypas, Amanda Quick, Stephanie Laurens, and Julia Quinn… I won’t go to that extremes yet.  Besides, I do reread those.

But I eliminated books I never plan to read again.  Books I’d forgotten I’d even kept, as well.  There were a couple hardbacks in there, and a book on poetry that I got at a book sale, and was a total waste of time.

I told my mother that I think it’s one of the curses of being a writer.  I think writers see something they like in a book and want to hold onto it.  Maybe not.  My father suggested ripping out the pages.  I can’t do that.  If the book is perfectly good, even if it’s a silly romance, why would I want to chuck it?   Because it would have to go in the trash after that.  And spare me the trashy novel comment.  I know I’m scoffed at enough in this house for even reading romance. 

However, I can’t deface a book.  So, away to the library it went for another book sale.

How about any other writer out there.  Do you keep a book for the strict purpose of having read a bit of inspiration in it, even if you plan to never read the book again?  And if so, how do you deal with all the books you may collect?

Writing on

~K.L.B.