Writing style is something I never really worried about until this year until someone pointed it out to me. Some vague amount of time ago, I decided that I’m was going to be a YA author. I’ve always liked YA and recently I’ve been reading a lot of terrible YA for my thesis project (not all of it is terrible), and so I’ve unconsciously absorbed a lot of terrible, lazy habits.
So I go to uni and study creative writing, but I think that I don’t really have a writing style to call my own. I can kind of manage one in my short short stories, but I find this much harder when writing anything above 500 words. Sustaining that style just becomes too hard and so I get lazy. I tried to start my thesis story a while back, got to 5k words and then saw it was just a reproduction of the YA that shits me up the wall; my story was flavourless.
I think this piece, called Salt and published in Deakin University’s writers’ club’s publication (phew), Wordly, is the beginnings of what could be my own style, but I don’t know.
Right now I can’t write like that for very long, the piece above is only 300 or so words, but I want to have my own voice. So that’s a side-goal for my honours year, I guess.
(Also, what a cool font my story is in. Whoever chose that is a genius, I say!)
Reasons I have not updated this in a long time include uni! So I’m doing honours at the moment and we have to write a story and an exegesis and they make up a thesis (which is a terrifying word).
Interrogating heteronormativity: pansexuality and gender variance in young adult fiction is what my project is called at the moment. It has a nice colon and many keywords in it, so I am quite happy.
(Titles are hard and I hate them. I’m fairly certain that my story will also need a title, so the week before it’s due I may just be crying in a corner somewhere because titles are hard.)
So basically what I’m researching is heteronormativity in YA fiction. Books that try and avoid it often end up perpetuating it anyway (not all of them!) and I want to know why. Because I do it myself, in ways that I don’t realise until I read through my first draft and see all these icky things in there. The way I’ve tended to go lately is just completely ignore heteronormativity because I just got sick of dealing with it. If I give my protagonists a limited pool of characters they deal with, then I can gloss over the issue.
But if I ignore it, is that somehow irresponsible? And I don’t know. And I’m not making a judgement on other authors here, this project is really just about me and my own writing. Other authors can do what they like.
Maybe after this year I’ll just go back to my old way of ignoring everything. But examining my own writing is something that I want to do, and honours is providing me a structured way to do it.