A Change of Tone

[cb_profit_poster Storytelling]Clinton, S.C., Friday, January 3, 2014, 2:12 p.m.

I'm changing my style whether I know it or not.

I’m changing my style whether I know it or not.

Here’s a surprise. I’ve been writing.

This morning, I went back through the first three chapters of my budding western novel, Cowboys Come Home, and cleaned them up a bit at the behest of potential representation. I’ve got a somewhat finished work, Crazy by Natural Causes (not published so not italic … yet), in the till, and a crime novel I had already started when a reason to write a western happened along. I’m planning to chip away at both of them in the coming months.

What struck me this morning, as I reexamined my writing, was how I slipped into character while writing it. This happens by necessity when writing dialogue, but as I tried to put myself in the middle of Texas in the 1940s (it’s a latter-day western), the characters seeped into my descriptions, too. It’s not necessarily a bad device, but, in this case, it was unintentional. I didn’t really notice the change until I started reading what I had written again.

Or maybe it's just the difference between cowboys in the 1940s and politicians in 2008.

Or maybe it’s just the difference between cowboys in the 1940s and politicians in 2008.

As an example, here is a paragraph from my first novel, The Audacity of Dope:

Two enterprising junior partners, Garner Thomas and Sue Ellen Spenser, regularly plotted strategies designed to elevate their stock. They had gradually, in tandem and over time, learned the usefulness of amorality.

And here is a paragraph from Cowboys Come Home:

Ennis smiled. He thought about how he hadn’t used much foul language till he’d gotten to where Japs were crawling around and bombs going off. In the Pacific, he’d gotten right adept at it. He was trying to clean himself up. Harry was, too.

I’m spending lots of time sailing uncharted seas these days.

In case you missed it (via social media), I picked Clemson and Oklahoma State in the bowl games. Orange is perfect for the Tigers, and Cowboys always feel like they’re in high Cotton in the Metroplex of Dallas/Fort Worth. I’m 11-5 but trending downward after a 7-1 start.

[cb_profit_poster Guitar1]

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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