Saturday, March 26, 2011

God Given Style

Everyone has different ways of developing and writing their novels. That's just the way we are as humans. God installed something in writers that makes their heart sing when they were supposed to be asleep four hours ago, but stayed up to finish a scene they just couldn't wait to get down. He thought it best not to add that feature to others... goes to prove God truly does know best.

So, we've established that God made writers, and a whole bunch of other people. He didn't stop there though. Within the group of writers He decided to give them each their own style and method. He gave them character. Set one apart from the other.

The fun thing here is that He didn't tell them from the beginning what that style was. He let them grow, learn, and discover for themselves, and, well, the fact of the matter is... I'm still in the discovery stage. I think a lot of people still are and don't even realize it.

If you're unsure what stage you're at, read the following quotes that are rather popular among the "believing they've discovered" stage. If you've ever said, or thought any of them, read on.
"I've only ever written one genre. I don't have to try others, I already know this one is my style."

"I write all my novels the same way. I don't have to try anything different. My method works perfectly."

"I always have a female/male main character. It's just what I know best."
Oh dear. Oh my. I know these sayings so well because I've heard them in so many places, including coming from my own mouth. In the last year, I've learned differently. It started back when I began to realize writing was more then just a small hobby for me. It was something bigger.

I read books on writing. I read blogs on writing, and I continued to write myself. As I found myself writing more and more, I was inspired to try new concepts, new characters, and even new genre's.

Where as before I had remained with fantasy and only fantasy, I discovered historical fiction and sci-fi. My main characters were all girls. Now the role of MC varies so much, it's hard to say which gender I use more often. I once told myself a novel required no planning, or outlining. I'd heard so often that the characters will write the story for you, if you just give them the chance (which I do believe is true, to an extent). What I now consider to be my best novel was around nine months in the planning before I began to write.

I would still return to fantasy as my main genre, but now I've tried something different. I know that out of the genre's I've tried, fantasy will always be home. For now.

I encourage you to branch out and discover. God knows your style, but He can't prove to you what it is if you refuse to try it. I once thought writing couldn't become any more fun. I was wrong. I once thought I couldn't do anything else with my writing. I was wrong. I'm willing to bet you may be wrong as well.

When do you stop searching though? This could go on forever, and I believe it should. You can always learn new things, but only if you're willing to step out from your comfort zone of fantasy and try something new. I doubt I'll ever be done with this hunt. That would leave no room for development, and no matter how good my writing may get, it can always be better.

Then again, God made me just a little different then all the other writers out there. Maybe I'm the only one on this road of discovery. God gave me a style... He gave you a style. Do you know what it is?


  1. Thank you for this post. I really have no input at the moment, but for now, thank you. I'm going to remember this post and keep it handy. :]

  2. Since NaNo, my style has gone through a change. I used to never plan for a novel and now I actually prefer to plan and I always wrote fantasy. Now I'm pretty stoked about sci-fi and stories set in the 50's. :)


  3. I love this :) I used to stick to happy Christian female main characters who were almost perfect. But this summer I branched out a bit and wrote a novel about a girl who looks down upon Christians, gets into fights and got pregnant at the beginning of her sophomore year. I resolved this problem obviously by bringing in a Christian who changed her view of things but it was good for me to try something different :)

  4. This was a really good post, and kind of what I needed to hear. I'm still trying to find my genre; I've tried fantasy and spiritual thriller, plus another book which I'm really not sure what genre it fits in! And then, as you know, I'm attempting a retelling soon. Hey, I'm even going to be doing Script Frenzy in April! So I just wander around, trying to find "my" genre. I guess I just have my own style, which is, of course, unique to me only.


  5. Yeah, I figured you and Kylie were going to do SF. Either that or you and Chez. :-) And you two can use the Sam and Pippin username on the regular website, MY Sam and I signed up using the YWP version of SF. So now you two HAVE to and we can have a competition between the two Sam and Pippin's. ;-D