Monday, June 27, 2011

Writing Style (Yours)

Read a great post on writing style from Seth Godin today. You can read it here.
I love posts on writing style. It's important to say things the right way, even when writing in fiction and even when writing in "your" voice. Seth isn't a fiction writer, but he is very creative and I think he writes with a great conversational voice.
I had the most uplifting rejection letter this week that I have ever received. First of all, the reviewer took the time to give me a detailed critique of why my submission was being rejected.
Just some background, I wanted to try my hand at submitting a short story, so I cut a section out of one of our Pendragon Chronicles and polsihed it into a short story. Most of the Pendragon Chronicles are short stories or novellas pasted into a broader tapestry so they work in short bites or in long feasts.
Anyway, the meat of the rejection was that the suibject was Arthurian, but the language was far too modern so it lacked the anachronistic language of the "legend".
I felt this rejection was perfect! Why? Because the intention of GGE's "Pendragon Chronicles" was to make the legend accessible to the modern fantasy reader. So, we have stripped out the more archaic language used in past volumes.
We have written it so fans of George RR. Martin or Joe Abercrombie or Robert Jordan would enjoy it. I was so glad to receive a letter letting me know I had hit the target squarely.
Sometimes rejection can be a good thing. The reviewer said if I reworked the writing, then the story would work well with their magazine. I had too politely decline, not because I am above rework. Far from it. But in this case, to know we were right on track, was a priceless bit of feedback.
I guess it is important to know your audience and write for them a bit. This is the way I would like to read King Arthur stories and so that's the way we write them. No hard feelings over the rejection. We had a first date and decided we weren't right for one another. It happens.

(NOTE: Double Dragon Publishing liked them enough to offer a contract on three books, so I'm not too broken up by the rejection.)

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