Monday, March 11, 2013

Crossed Legs & Writing Styles

No, these aren't my legs. (I wish.)

Mom and I were watching the news one evening when I noticed something that tickled the ol' funny bone. We each had our right leg crossed over our left leg and our fingers were laced together. Both legs were doing a rhythmic bounce. I pointed this out to her, and we both dissolved into giggles.

After being around each other for so many years, our mannerisms are similar. It wasn't a conscious effort, but it happened. While this can be a positive in relationships, the same process can be detrimental to our unique writing voice.

To avoid imprinting another author's style on my psyche:

1.  I read a variety of genres and authors.

2.  I observe techniques and filter them through personal experiences and values.

3.  Time spent talking with God and studying His Word gives me His perspective on a subject and brings my own style bubbling to the surface.

Writers:  What are some of the methods you use to keep your writing voice distinct from others?

Readers: What mannerisms have rubbed off on you from another family member?

Photo credit:  reuben4eva


Jessica Nelson said...

What a funny analogy!! lol I'm not sure about mannerisms but I know I copy some of my husband's lingo.

Karen Lange said...

Good points! I gesture with my hands a lot like my mom did. I see the same thing in my sisters. :)

Happy writing,

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess - Glad you enjoyed it. You make a good point about picking up verbal forms. My northeast cousins moved south and now have a southern accent.

Hi Karen - I'm getting ideas here for a devotional. Blogging and bloggers inspire me. :)


Susan said...

Hi Susan. Thanks for stopping by.

I dont try to emulate any other writer. I just write what is in my heart.

Thanks for stopping by. susan

Rhonda Schrock said...

Interesting post, Susan. Never thought about writing quite like that. I've read so many different authors over the years. I certainly hope my own style is unique and diverse.

Loree Huebner said...

Great thoughts, Susan.

I think the history knowledge I've acquired over the years, helps to set my writing apart.

Nancy said...

Reading a variety of authors is a great way to avoid the copy cat syndrome.

One thing we all got from my dad was when you bend or work hard to do something you go "eh eh." It's so funny how even the baby does it naturally.

Melanie N. Brasher said...

Too funny, Susan! I catch myself saying some of the same things my mom said when I was a girl. I'm still experimenting with my writer voice. :)

quietspirit said...

I find myself saying things my dad said when I was growing up. I live with some fear that our son will eventually pick up Hubby's or my witticisms.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Susan - That's always the best way to write - Straight From the Heart. :)

Hi Rhonda - I'd know your writing even if your name wasn't attached to it.

Hi Loree - I'm a big history buff as well.

Hi Nancy - So funny how we pick up on these little mannerisms!

Hi Melanie - Yes, we even say the things we vowed we'd never say.

Hi Quiet Spirit - Yes, good or bad, they do mimic what their parents say.

What fun comments! Don't be shy - chime in.

Susan :)

Linda O'Connell said...

Susan, I talk with my hands as my mother did. I try to keep my writing authentic by selecting the strongest verbs and writing from my heart, of course. Have a great day!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Linda,

Excellent points! Writing from that deep place within you helps ensure you're being true to your voice.

Susan :)

JD said...

Sweet post, Susan. As for mannerisms, I have a boisterous laugh like my mom. I dislike my loud laugh which sounds more like a yelp or a honk to me, but my husband says my laugh is "infectious," so it can't be all bad :-)

Be well...

Dorothy said...

My dad and I both do that leg swing when we're watching TV...much to my mum's annoyance! lol ;)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janette - My nose has never been my favorite feature, but my husband loved it. I guess whether it's beauty or mannerisms, it depends on the beholder. :)

Hi Dotti - LOL! It's just the two of us, so we don't have to worry about annoying anyone.