Sorry for the late blog update today. My wife is feeling under the weather and I've been taking care of her. Not a wonderful excuse, but I did lose track of time. Still, an obligation to this blog is still an obligation and so, today I've decided to talk briefly about style and aesthetics.
It's a broad subject, yes, I know, but every story has something to it, a signature feel, if you will. For instance, while I can't talk much about it right now, the current game I'm reviewing has it's feel down. The game oozes with character and constantly reminds you of that. It's a fine line to walk too, as I know plenty of novels or games that have tried to bash you over the head with their aesthetics, be it film noir or space opera, and have just pushed too hard.
So what's the key? Well, I'm not entirely sure, but if I were coaxed into taking a stab at it I'd say knowing your audience. If you'r going for something grand and over the top, something with flair and oozing character, well, I suppose it wouldn't be out of place to bash your audience over the head, supposing it's done right. Of course more subtle genres and feels require a gentler touch. For instance, because The Paladin is an urban fantasy, I like to let the reader forget they're in a fantasy novel every once in a while. I play up the mundane, the common features of a place, then occasionally remind the reader that, yes, this world does have bars and fast food, but vampires sometimes frequent those establishments.
Is that the proper way to do it? Well, to be honest, I don't know yet. I know that subtlety has value in my genre and there's great value in letting the reader drop their guard so you can hit them with big things down the line. But as to whether it's a "proper" way to do it, well, I honestly don't know. If anything, I've learned that each writer needs to find their own proper.
So if you're playing with your theme, your feel, and your aesthetics, I say play around. Editing is the time to correct things, so for now, try it all out. Hell, I've recently decided to replace an entire scene because I feel it didn't quite mesh with the aesthetics the rest of the novel provided, and you know what? I'm happy I'm doing it. So go out there, write, revise, and write some more! You'll only find your feel by trying different things out.
Don't forget to be awesome!
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.