Here’s one of the upsides of seeing one’s style change with maturity and experience: because some tough things in life got in the way and this year’s Write-a-thon didn’t work out as I’d planned, I thought that coming back to my current WIP (the one I’d intended to try to complete in the past six weeks) might be difficult. But I was pleasantly surprised that when I looked at it immediately after working on the earlier manuscript, it was clear that all that experience is showing; it was actually uplifting to see how much of the first draft material is quite strong already.
I could probably say I was raised to be a ‘lit snob’. As a small child I’d look at the books my parents were reading — by authors like Virginia Woolf and Loren Eiseley — and think that that’s what you aim for: that’s how real, classy adults write. Though I was used to almost everything I wrote receiving high praise from teachers and other adults, it was frustrating when I could see for myself that my own writing just wasn’t that sophisticated — and I really wanted to be sophisticated.
So it gives me a warm, solid feeling to have reached a level in my craft where the words that come to me naturally sound ‘grown-up’ — even by my admittedly high standards. There may always be times when getting a particular passage to capture exactly what I’m trying to convey is a challenge — that’s part of the fun of it, after all — but there’s no doubt in my mind that I have all the tools now. I know how to do what I’m trying to do, and as long as I put the time in, I can get it done. Continue reading