One day I'm going to learn that sheer will power does not actually have the power to cure, no matter how good a metaphor it may be.
Anyway, speaking of metaphors, norah asked about writing style in her post earlier today. (See that ham-handed segue? If I wasn't sick, I would have been slicker about it. You can bet your boots on that, cowhands and cacti.) She asks if people feel as though they have a style, and if so where voice comes from, and many writerly things of that nature.
Often times, when I think about my stories, I feel like -- all I do have is a voice. I mean, I definitely would say that I'm a writer with a very recognizable style. In fact, there are times that reading my own fic becomes deeply repetitive to me (both thematically and in terms of my favorite words) and then I want to go back and slap myself many times for it. But my point is that there are days where I feel like a lot of what I write is atmospheric to the point of being empty of all else.
Let me unpack that a little. 1) Yes, I think that I do have a voice. 2) A very large component of that voice/style is a tendency to spend a long time describing atmosphere, so as to inform the character motion in a scene, 3) I feel like my obsessive tendencies over atmosphere sometimes block my ability to see other, possibly more interesting, dynamics at work even in the stories that I, myself, am telling.
I think a large part of that is that fiction is relatively new to me. I mean, I've been writing stories off and on my whole life, but for a really long time, the emphasis was placed on poetry. In my writing, I think that translates a lot to a concern with rhythm and detail and structure of my fics. I tend toward being very imagistic in my fiction writing, trying to convey a very distinct and exact sense of things -- to the exclusion of charging items and objects with emotion.
This isn't always true, of course. My yuletide story was something I agonized over for days before even begining to commit it to paper. I felt like trying to play in Shakespeare's sandbox was an audacity that even made me blink, and so I thought everything through long enough to have a couple of strong images that I wanted to place at certain points in the emotional development of the fic. I also had a kind of "metronome image" I was using - the door thing -- and that helped.
Writing that story was just really interesting, and some day I'm going to have to sit down and type up a little thing about it - possibly a DVD track, but in a lot of ways I can't tackle the telling of that story in pieces, it has to be as a whole. However, I digress, self-indulgently.
But I think a really good example of what I'm talking about in terms of me writing things so *precisely* that I didn't maybe give them the electricity they needed to live up to what they were in my head are Rappeler (Horatio Hornblower, HH/AK) and I Shall Not Want (Smallville, Gen).
I feel a lot of the time like I've gotten an image - a line, a story - right, if I can make one stark snap shot speak for itself, by describing itself. Sometimes that happens, often it's an unrealistic hope.
Actually, right now, I think I'm going to stop blathering. Perhaps I'll come back to the topic later, but if I keep typing, my brain will explode becuase my sinuses are trying to force it out through my ears.