I wonder. Does writing have a sell by date?
Some folks on here speak of some writing being old fashioned. Is there such a thing?
Are the new ways of writing which have come along over time really 'improvements', or are they simply additional layers of the possible?
Or are they maybe the fashion of the day, thus being something that will date even faster than the hits of JLS?
Thus, must one write in a particular fashion in order to be accepted – or even acceptable?
I'm not sure whether I view an old book as old fashioned.
Although I do recognise different styles, language and attitudes – even pace.
And I think we all know of the present day obsession with the immediate hook, whereby the entire book's essence is supposed to be crystalised within the first ten pages, or the Titanic has to sink, or a full scale thermo-nuclear war ensue, or the president of the US has to strangle a white house intern with his bare hands...
The pace must be breathless. It must be a 'roller coaster ride'. The language has to be as crisp as though it's been freshly deep fried. There are to be no – or at least very few - adverbs, apparently.
And it's supposed to be something between Grisham and, well, someone else.
Personally though, I believe some subjects are better handled in an old-fashioned way. Not everything needs to be written in the latest form.
Sure, if you're writing a book on spooks hunting Al Qaeda, I'd not expect the approach to be anything but contemporary.
But if it's about crusading knights, genteel ladies taking tea in 19th Yorkshire or Cortez conquering America I'd expect a different approach. It needn't only be the case with the historic. Could just as well apply to science fiction or fantasy. And I can well see a courtroom drama being couched in slower paced, old fashioned ways, rather than the usual CSI Derbyshire.
I guess I'm just not sure whether I'm that sold on the Meccano set approach of how-to-write some folks seem to believe is the right way (as in, the only way).
Perhaps I just like being an old fuddy-duddy.
In fact I just re-read the first effort of one of my favourite authors. Given that it was composed in the late eighties, it seemed remarkably unconcerned with the dos and don'ts of modern publishing and instead just concentrated in telling a story the way the author wanted to see it told.
The start was slow, the hook for what I can tell was non existent. But the language and charm of the piece drew you in.
Most of all, it seemed to have been penned by an individual. That's something I like in books.
Whereas from what one picks up, one might think books ought to read as though they've been written by the Borg; some sort of homogeneous authordom that sounds the same no matter what story it tells.
Anyhow, I simply thought that, since we've now established beyond reasonable doubt that I'm right regards complaining about reviews, we may move onto something else and talk a little about writing.
So I just thought I'd toss this into the ring and see what you made of it. Possibly so I can prove you all wrong on this subject also...