it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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Style on a Macro Level

I should be working, but I'm thinking.

Some of my writer friends are really powerful worldbuilders. I'm specifically thinking of truepenny and meritahut (C. Scavella Burrell: you can read her glorious little story "The Book of Things Which Must Not Be Remembered" here).

They both write very detailed, very richly realized worlds in which their characters interact, complete, and define the settings through which they move. The setting, the world, becomes a character in their work. Their stories move forward very linearly, and every detail is fascinating: the BNA who comes to mind in comparison is Richard Adams, who can make the details of a fisherman knotting ropes and mending nets utterly real and utterly necessarily to the story.

It's good stuff.

I realized from talking with truepenny recently that I don't do this. I'm an impressionist: I hit the high points, the change points, the moments when things happen, and move on. My work tends to be very fast passed, almost a little rough-and-tumble. Things happen, or fail to happen, and there's very little breathing space between in which the everyday goes on. It's the momentum of a landslide rather than the momentum of a long-distance runner.

And that's not a bad thing either.

And it's one of those things that defines an author's feel, on a macro level. Defines her voice and her power to move and shape a reality, evoke a world and a feeling. I dunno, maybe this is just me, but this feels like an epiphany on a small scale, and something really, really cool and important lurking just underneath it that maybe can't quite go into words.

I bet most writers fall somewhere between the two extremes.
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