I was recently challenged to describe my own writing, and I realized I have no idea how to. So, logically, I’m going to write about my writing to try to figure it out.
After reading a bunch of my pieces, one thing that stood out to me is that I never name my characters. If I think about it, I guess it’s subliminally intentional, because I think omitting names forces the reader to focus more on the characteristics of the character. A perfect example is The Woman With the Grease Stained Face, where I refer to the woman only by that description. I think (hope) that that helps with the characterization, and leaves a little it of mystery around the woman. Actually, omission is everywhere in that piece. I omitted so much context around the situation that the reader has to try to fill in the details from the limited information I give them. I love doing this, because every reader can come away with something different from the piece, and that’s really cool.
Another thing that stood out to me is just how dark and depressing my writing typically is. Obviously, as a survivor of self-harm and suicide, and as a victim of chronic depression, a lot of my autobiographical pieces will be a bit dark. That’s just my life. But somewhat more surprisingly, most of my fiction pieces are sad as well! I wrote happy poem once, (They Knew), and then promptly followed it with two pieces continuing the story as a triptych that gave it a tragic ending (Through Thick and Thin, and Effervescent Evanescence).
Sometimes, I literally sit down and try to write something that will make someone cry. If I think about it, I guess that’s because I love to cry. It’s a really rare event for me – I’ve cried three times in the last decade – but it feels so good! Maybe I’ll write something about that next, because that catharsis is unreal. So, I write things that are sad enough or tragic enough to make some people cry. I did that last week while a little bit drunk, with He Saw Her, and I think that turned out to be a pretty good piece (jury’s still out on if anyone cried, but I hope so).
Other than those things, I don’t really see too many common threads in my writing. I’ve written prose and poetry, and within poetry I’ve written both free verse and followed rhyme schemes. If you’ve read some of my work before, I’d love to hear your opinions on what my writing style is! Discuss in the comments section below.