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  1. #1
    Colin Jeffcoat IV
    Guest

    general question of style...

    The question being, do I have one? I am not trying to be funny. I am having a difficult time getting a voice. If you have time then read the following and tell me if you feel like there is a voice or style to it. Thanks.

    “Who said anything about touching it?”
    “Exactly.”
    Jeffrey cocked his head, looking much like a puppy dog trying to figure out what his owner were telling it. “C’mon, Trey. I know you better than that.” His frown was disapproving. “Let’s just go. We can get some others to come and see it. Your dad.”
    Trey could not believe that Jeffrey actually wanted to go and get their parents. “We are not getting my dad… or your dad for that matter. This is ours, Jeffrey and we aren’t going to tell anyone.” Trey just stopped and stared at Jeffrey for a moment. “Besides, how did you find out about this?” Trey knew that there was no way Jeffrey just up and decided to take a nice little hike into Tompkins swamp without good reason. He was far from that adventurous since his defection to the nerd side of the force.
    “Jingo.” Jeffrey said looking down embarrassed.
    “Your cat? You have got to be kidding me.” Jeffrey followed his cat into Tompkins swamp. That was rich.
    Jeffrey continued expressing his feelings, explaining to Trey how he had not intended to follow his cat into the swamp but that Jingo had seemed injured and afraid of everybody. Trey sighed and turned back toward the dark light-consuming pillar. A shaft of black light, what exactly was it?
    “Trey” There was a pleading in Jeffrey’s voice. Trey ignored him, feeling drawn by the object, almost as though it were calling him. Treys eyes focused intensely on the enigma before him and he started unaware towards it again, his right hand reaching out. The thing was calling to him. Certainly if fate existed then this was where the subconscious and the conscious merged revealing one their true destiny, and that destiny for Trey Galivan was to touch this mystery thus exposing him to its raw truth.
    “Trey! What are you doing?” The shout exploded through and Trey turned almost stunned for a second.
    “Take a chill pill, Jeffrey.” His expression was of exasperation and he shot it, an arrow hitting Jeffrey right in the chest, but this did not deter Jeffrey and he closed the distance between them in a blink.
    “Let’s go.” His words were a command and this took Trey completely off. He could not remember ever seeing Jeffrey this obstinate before. How many more times would Jeffrey prove to be more than just a little geek? Trey just stared slack jawed for a moment.
    “You cannot be for real?” The pitch of his voice climbed with every word.
    “I am. Let’s go now.” A glare.
    “No.” Trey turned away reaching again toward the obscure darkness. A hum began to fill his ears and his fingers felt as though they were going numb. He felt as though he were being drawn forward and that if he did not take another step the darkness would come to him.
    “Stop!” Jeffrey seized Trey by the shoulders, wrenching him around, and began tugging him away from the anomaly. Trey could not believe what was happening, Jeffrey, an inch shorter and not nearly as broad, began towing him backwards. And still the force of the gloomy mast behind was seeking to maintain its grasp of him, holding firm.
    “Jeffrey s-stop this.” Trey exhaled through gritted teeth. Planting his feet he tugged away from Jeffrey, back towards the dark column. For a moment they were in a bodily tug of war, Jeffrey attempting to haul Trey away from the column, Trey pulling back towards it. Trey, angry now, set his feet firmly down swinging Jeffrey around him in a wide arc so that they completely changed positions, the force of the swing so severe they lost grip of one another. Falling now in opposite directions they both cleaved to air, reaching at one another as though to get hold again, but it was too late. They both tumbled away and over knotted swamp earth. A look of stunned horror swallowed Jeffrey’s features, his arms flailed before him clawing at the air, the look on his face pleading for Trey to rescue him. There was nothing he could grab hold of. As Trey collided with the ground he and Jeffrey locked gazes of shocked disbelief for they both knew there was nothing that could be done. It was too late.
    The pillar of darkness swallowed him.



  2. #2
    Terri D
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Colin I'm on my way out, but I plan to read this all later. I just wanted to tell you, style and voice is not something you learn....it's something you already have. It's how you tell your story, it's your personality. It's natural...like having an ear for music. As you write, your voice and style will develop and will continue to develop. Don't try to force it, let is ease out on it's own.

    Hope that helps,

    Terri

  3. #3
    Colin Jeffcoat IV
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Actually that does. The only problem I have is that when I am writing anything, with the exception of personal letters, I am constantly second guessing myself and editting the material as it is being written. Just last night I spent two ours on a paragraph of text. Tell me that I am not anal.

  4. #4
    Jeanne Gassman
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    You're normal. I do that all the time.

    Jeanne

  5. #5
    Julie Korzenko
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Definitely normal, Colin. I completed three full manuscripts before my voice rang loud and clear and was as comfortable as my favorite slippers. And voice continues to evolve as you perfect your craft. Try not to over-analyze or get caught in the detail traps. Move forward. Write. Write. Write. Find the flow.

    However, if you're blocked because you've hit a pothole in your plot --- that's another matter all together.

    I enjoyed reading the above excerpt. However, the one item that bothered me and kept yanking me out of the scene was the constant name repetitions. Maybe you can smooth that out a bit? Just a suggestion. But it was very descriptive. Nicely done.

    Julie

  6. #6
    Colin Jeffcoat IV
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    I hope to slip into my voice one day. It is funny. I have not written as much lately as I once did years ago, before marriage and children seized hold of my life, and now it is like trying to get back into a pair of trousers that once fit well… twenty pounds ago. Having once tasted that glorious nectar it is painful to sit down and attempt writing, the echo of that once strong voice now become a phantom to taunt me.

    How juvenile I must seem to some of you veterans.

  7. #7
    Eric George
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Colin - do you read your stuff out loud? Preferrably to some one critical? I find this is the best way to achieve something authentic - the flourishes and self-indulgence stick like sore thumbs.

    You have a voice now and thinking to hard will distort on the way to the paper. Reading out loud will fix that.

  8. #8
    Julie Korzenko
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Juvenile? Nope. Working on your craft? Yes! Relax. Have fun. Just write. Gee, have I said that already? That part about writing? If not, um ... just write.

  9. #9
    Colin Jeffcoat IV
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    [i]You have a voice now and thinking to hard will distort on the way to the paper. Reading out loud will fix that.[\i]

    Thanks for the advice Eric. I have always read out loud to myself but never anyone else. This should be interesting.

  10. #10
    Jeanne Gassman
    Guest

    Re: general question of style...

    Even better, have someone else read your work out loud to you. When I first started writing seriously, my husband (who was a tech writer at the time) read my work out loud to me while I made notes and suggested corrections and changes. It was an amazing experience, and I learned so much about rhythm and pacing.

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