What does Photography have to do with writing steampunk or writing in general? They both have style.
I recently viewed a webinar on photography that was put on by Chris Orwig. He’s a landscape and portrait photographer.
In the webinar, he talked about how to develop your style. It occurred to me that a photographer’s style is the same as a writer’s voice.
Chris suggested that to clarify your style take a piece of paper, turn it sideways, and write the word photograph at the top. Underneath, randomly write the words that describe what you like about photographs. He had things like people, shadows, landscapes, sun downs, water.
This would work for a writer trying to find his voice. Take a sheet of paper and write Story or Novel or Book at the top. Under that randomly write the words that describe what you like about stories you read. If you like to read about funny heroes, then write that down. Same goes if you like to read about dark villains, humor, or serious stories. Don’t be afraid to add words that describe stories that you are not found of; slasher, serial killer, etc.
Chris then took the page of words and crossed out the words that didn’t fit what he wanted to photograph. Think of this as focusing on what you want to photograph or write.
If you’re a writer, do that. And if you read a book that has something you like, then add it to the page. This is a living document.
The next step, Chris made a list out of the words that were not crossed out. Next to the words in the list he wrote ideas of things to do to get the actions or things he like into his photographs.
Do the same. If you like funny heroes then write down how you could write a hero with a sense of humor. You don’t have to use any of your ideas, but it could remind you that at the worst of times your hero will crack a joke before taking on ten villains in a fight he can’t win. That is part of his character. If your hero can’t do that, then you need to bring a new hero on stage. I’ve had to do that.
Style will always change, it’s like re-inventing yourself. The list you develop to find and define your style and voice should be visited and possibly changed very 2 or so years. There’s no law that says your voice can’t grow.
I’ve got book two in the Deamon and the spy series in editing. Hopefully the editor will finish this time.
As I’ve said before, having an editor go over your stuff is like handing someone a hand full of cash and then a club and telling them to beat you about the head and shoulders, repeatedly. That’s only part of what I do to bring you a story.
Now, go buy my book
Stay strong, write on, and grow.
Professor Hyram Voltage