For this blog entry, I wanted to share about the books I enjoy reading and how they inform my writing.
I will share with you that I thoroughly enjoy reading literary fiction from the twentieth century. My favorite author is John Steinbeck. While I’m no Steinbeck, his writing has heavily influenced me. He painted pictures in my mind of the world around him. In the sense that he was a naturalist, he could describe a world that would come to life even for those who have lost the sense of sight.
Where I try to separate myself from him in my descriptions is in the manner that characters struggle with internal emotions or thoughts and their external actions. I find that our greatest discord comes from what we want, what we idealize, what we endeavor to accomplish, and the actions we undertake. This is not a value judgment. It is a reflection of our flawed and frail humanity. Our courage comes from overcoming our weaknesses in attempts to make better decisions going forward that better reflect the person we want to be.
I know I have made choices in the past that I am not proud of. These choices push me to be a better version of the person I want to be. This is something I try to capture in the characters in my writing.
I would offer that my writing style can move between lengthy prose and short dialogue. I enjoy this change of pace within writing because it intentionally shifts the speed of the story. This element of pacing allows me to focus you in on concise action or give you the space to contemplate broader ideals. You’ll probably notice a wide variety of sentences too. Some sentences are fragments–which is deliberate. They are intended to provide a small but strong punch. Other sentences are long and mixed with a variety of punctuation. This is me deliberately playing with the tools of English to wax poetically while inserting a broader theme. Finally, you may notice repetition within several sentences. This staccato style is intended to reinforce the word or phrase that is repeated in a way to drive home the importance of the topic.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my writing style. As always, this has been the World According to Chris.