How important is writing style? And just what is it, anyway — what makes up an author’s style? Can an author truly be unique?
This week, Written Words has invited Charity Parkerson, author of paranormal romance and erotica, to tell us her thoughts on writer’s style. Read what she has to say, and then check out her work.
How would you describe your own writing style?
Erotic with a southern twist.
Are there any authors whose style you admire? Do you try to emulate them?
I really like Julie Garwood. She does a great job of mixing humor with suspense and since I’m hilarious (in my own mind) I try to add a bit of humor to my books, as well.
Are there authors whose writing style you dislike?
I love Jennifer Wilde and have read all of her books. However, I can’t stand her descriptive writing style. She can weave the most wonderful and engaging stories, but I find myself skipping over the three-page descriptions of someone’s dress.
How important is your writing style to you? Are you happy with your style, or are there aspects of it you try to change during rewriting or editing?
When I first started out, I had several people tell me that I would run into trouble with reviewers because my characters have southern accents. I refused to remove it, since my books are set in the South, and it made sense that their speech would reflect that. I have run into a couple of reviews that mention it, but for the most part readers have been fine with it, and I’m glad that I did not allow anyone to talk me out of writing my own voice out of my stories.
What are the important elements of your style? What are you trying to achieve?
In erotica, I think that one of the most important elements is the ability to create a scene that is relatable but is still hot. I want to paint a picture with words that the reader can see, hear, and taste as if they are there.
How can readers identify your writing style? Are there particular words or kinds of words that you tend to favour? Sentence structures? Or is it more in the story, the pacing or the characters?
My characters tend to be a little on the dark side. It’s rare that I write a perfect character. I want people to cheer for someone that they never thought they could.
Do you think your genre imposes certain restrictions on writing style?
I write in several genres, but I do think that erotica is the most restrictive. Most people would think that it is the least. However, several times I have sent a story to my editor believing that I’ve finished the world’s hottest erotic novel, only to learn it is classified as steamy romance. You’re expected to use words that shock people into letting down their natural prude filter.
Do you think your audience responds to your writing style, consciously or unconsciously?
I hope it’s an unconscious reaction to a great read. :-D
How important do you think writing style is to an author's commercial success?
It’s very important if you also factor in who you are pitching yourself to.
Thank you, Charity.
Charity Parkerson made the bestseller list with her book A Secure Heart. Her paranormal Sinners series was voted as one of the top ten "Best books by an Indie author in 2011." Her Sexy Witches series blends paranormal, romance and erotica. She is also one of the Four Whips, a collective of authors who have recently published the erotic short-story collection Turkey Slap 2012.
Charity's newest book is A Splash of Hope, available from Amazon.
She is a member of The Paranormal Romance Guild, Coffee Time Romance, and Long and Short Romance Reviews. She is also a Goodreads moderator and a Library Thing author.
You can like her at Facebook.com/authorCharityParkerson. You can follow her on Twitter @CharityParkerso.