Daily Archives: September 20, 2010

Sniff Your Shoes: if you dare!

The other day, our house was filled with our normal array of kids.  As is typical for teen boys now-a-days, most of the shoes on our front rug were black with some kind of white stripe on them.  On occasions, DH and I have been known to tie them all together when the kids are watching movies. 

We didn’t get the opportunity, however, before one young man ran up stairs on a mission to somewhere.  He grabbed a handful of shoes and began sniffing them. 

Yeah, like nose to the foot hole, deep breath, sniff.   

 “Doesn’t smell like mine,” he said and dropped the shoe, only to sniff another.

I learned something that day.  Not about recognizing my own foot odor, but about recognizing my style. 

Most writers have a distinct style when they write.  Their words and sentences flow across the page with a familiar flair.  The same sentence structure, the same descriptive patterns, similar dialogue, etc.

This may be a result of writing in the same genre (fantasy, steam punk, crime, etc) book after book.  Yet as I examine my pieces of fiction, I have to believe it is something else.  Something that comes from deep within us and the way we experience our words and our worlds.

My picture books are distinctly mine, as are my chapter books and middle grade novels.  There is something about the way I write that makes my writing my own.

No other author could sniff test them and believe they were theirs.  Nor could I mistake someone else’s style for my own. 

Have you noticed you write with a unique style?  If so, does this help or hinder you when writing outside the same genre?  Is it even possible or desirable to carry your style across your stories, let alone across multiple genres?  Or am I just over thinking this thing?

Take a look at writing and let us know what you find.