Jon Michael Galindo

~ writing, programming, art ~

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24 September 2015

Style and Audience

I believed for a great while that style did not exist. That is to say, I enjoyed various genres and when I wrote my own stories within those genres, I adopted the styles which I found to be ubiquitous to them. However, I eventually found a value for style which I suppose all writers find. When writing in my own, “natural” style, I find I may write far more quickly and edit less frequently. The single disadvantage to this method may be that as my style matures I fall out of love with my older writings, but eventually, I suspect, it will settle into a concrete manifestation of my inner voice and change little more.

But then follows audience. Whatever genre you might be writing, your reader will expect to read a particular sort of style. The question that arose once I began to regularly adopt my personal style went something like: “Will my style alienate some readers who might otherwise have enjoyed my story?”

My answer straddles the fence. I believe that I have found style to encompass a wider swath of tendencies than most writers realize. It is alright to bend your style a little, perhaps to avoid overly long words or long sentences when appropriate, or perhaps to tone down your word variety to make a passage’s meaning clearer. It’s alright to give your audience a little of what they expect; style is not sacred.

However, style is invaluable. You will never be able to write at full speed or completely immerse yourself in writing if you are merely parroting the words and structures of that writer who inspired you years ago. Don’t abandon the genre’s style, but understand that there exists an efficient and effective balance between it and your own.

© Jon Michael Galindo 2015