The brilliant thing about Jenny Schwartz is not only is she a Carina Press author but she’s also a West Aussie – I can’t think of anyone better to lose my steampunk virginity to (am going to read her book VERY soon)! But first, I’m thrilled to have her as a guest this Theory on Thursday talking STYLE!!
7 Secrets of Style
Hi, Rachael! Thanks for inviting me to Theory on Thursday. Here’s hoping that what I’ve painfully learned about writing makes sense to others.
Style is how you tell a story.
- There’s no way around it.You have to start with some boring common sense. Learn the rules of grammar and punctuation so you can break them. A self-editing course like Angela James’s “Before You Hit Send” is a good investment.
- Understand the medium you’re writing in. Whether you’re writing a tweet, poem, short story or novel will affect your style.
- Respect your readers’ genre expectations. Writing a story for a literary journal is very different to writing for a tabloid newspaper. Things to think about include the level of description, word play, swearing (or not), vocabulary and use of dialect.
- Write outside the space you consider yours. If you write historical romance, try your hand at modern poetry. And don’t forget to value your non-fiction writing, like blog posts.
- Writing outside your comfort zones reveals your writing style to you and lets you develop different aspects of it. Write often. I hate the cliché, practice makes perfect, and I hate it because it’s true.
- Read widely. In terms of inspiration, reading widely helps with ideas.
In terms of style, it expands vocabulary and style possibilities. Remember to read writing guides. Listen to feedback from people you trust: crit partners, editors, whoever.
Be confident. It shows. Confidence is not stasis. Dare to experiment, to learn and grow.
Anyone want to argue with me about my style secrets? Anyone want to agree? Most important of all, what did I forget to mention?
BLURB – Wanted: One Scoundrel
All suffragette Esme Smith wants is a man. A scoundrel to be precise. Someone who can be persuaded to represent her political views at men-only clubs. As the daughter of the richest man in Australia, Esme can afford to make it worth the right man’s while.
Fresh off the boat, American inventor Jed Reeve is intrigued by Esme’s proposal, but even more interested in the beauty herself. Amused that she takes him for a man who lives by his wits, he accepts the job—made easier by the fact that he already shares her ideals. Soon, he finds himself caught up in political intrigue, kidnapping and blackmail, and trying to convince his employer he’s more than just a scoundrel…