Give Your Readers a TKO!

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Give Your Readers a TKO!

Every writer has a style that comes naturally. Perhaps you haven’t discovered what your style is, or you are testing out various ones for fit. That’s well and good, but let me give you a big hint: Don’t fight your natural inclination. Your brain was wired a certain way and your internal voice has a dialect all your own. It’s time to embrace your style and knock your readers out with amazing and unique storytelling.boxing-gloves

There are loosely five basic styles of boxers–out-fighters, punchers, counter-punchers, sluggers, in-fighters. Just like in boxing, writers fall into different camps based on technique, skill, and habit.

Classic boxers are called Out-Fighters. They maintain distance between themselves and their opponent, with fast, longer range punches. The idea is to methodically wear an opponent down using skill in pacing, finesse, quick reflexes, and footwork. (Examples: Muhammad Ali, Salvador Sanchez, Manny Pacquiao.)

Writers that exhibit this classical style are more formulaic in their stories. Romance, Westerns, Pulp Action, Cozy Mystery…all generally follow a tried and true formula. That does not mean these genres won’t surprise the dickens out you, because the best authors will knock your socks off. Their predictability is what makes readers come back time and time again. The reader knows authors in these genres will deliver reliable of drama and pacing right up to the climax. (Examples: Johanna Lindsey,  Louis L’Amour, Lester Dent, Lillian Jackson Braun.)

Now what does all this have to do with SUPERHEROES? Plenty the best action hero and superhero stories have more going for them than *KAPOW* >>BAM<< or ~ZOINKS~. They have a story at their heart. It could be a romance like Hawkman & Hawkgirl, or a Western (can you say) Jonah Hex, or a pulp like The Shadow, how about a mystery…Batman: The Long Halloween. To get your Superhero story off the ground you need to know what kind of story is at the heart of your battle. Part of this genre becoming world class prose is about learning our storytelling craft. We all have great ideas for new supers and we have loads of imagination, but if we will take the time to develop our craft, nothing can keep us off the bestsellers list!  Below are some resources to kick start your next series or chapter.

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Romance writers be sure to check out Jami Gold’s post: Write Romance? Get Your Beat Sheet Here! The post is full of good things including this link for a blow up of the beat sheet. Writers of any genre would do well to take a peek at this list.

 

 

USA_10279_Monument_Valley_Luca_Galuzzi_2007Westerns are a different animal entirely. The genre is the subject of university classes and Ph.D dissertations. The web is full of scholarly papers discussing everything from setting to formula. R.L. Coffield’s post is a great place to dive into the genre.

 

 

 

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Pulp Action, today, is called New Pulp. And the folks over at the New Pulp website have the skinny on the genre. Pulp novels are written in a fast pace style that amaze readers with dashing over-the-top characters in settings that range from the mundane to the fantastical. But one thing is certain New Pulp books are like an Action sandwich filled with explosives!

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Cozy Mysteries are near and dear to my heart. My bookcase runneth over with paperback volumes running the gamut between stories with cats to cooking shows gone awry. They all follow an unmistakable path, but the best writers amaze me with their sneaky and deft handling of the details. Elizabeth S. Craig’s post: Top Tips for Cozy Mystery Writing and a Crazy Cozy Blogfest, has a list you don’t want to miss.

 

Some of this content is from my post "Readers Roll with the Punches: Use Your Writing Style for the Knockout!" from 2/2015.--Lisa
By | 2015-04-22T12:28:02+00:00 April 22nd, 2015|Lisa M. Collins, On Writing, Writing Tips|5 Comments

About the Author:

Lisa M. Collins wants to live in a galaxy where she can vacation on the Moon or sip black chai tea while sightseeing on Saturn. As an author, she’s been published across a range of print and digital media, and was honored with a Sally A. Williams grant from the Arkansas Arts Council. When she’s not writing, you can find her playing XBOX with Desmond Miles’ family tree. “What is a man but the sum of his memories? We are the stories we live, the tales we tell ourselves!” Lisa’s latest releases are available on Amazon. Sign up to get the latest info on book launches and special newsletter only promotions on her website lisacollins.wordpress.com.

5 Comments

  1. dianequicksilvernovels April 27, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    I’m not sure which style my sci-fantasy novels fit, probably the superheroes but there is definitely romance involved. My cozy mysteries are easier to identify. It’s fun to read the boxing analogy to writing.

  2. Elyse Salpeter April 28, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    I honestly never knew my style or voice before, then my editor, that I used a lot, made a comment about it. She said when she met me 20 years ago I was “valley girl” but now I’m “NY City Chic.” That my style and writing has changed over the years and matured, which is a very good thing. I honestly just write and don’t think of my voice all that much. I probably should more!

  3. Farmerbob1 May 11, 2015 at 2:36 am

    I’ve discovered that I really can’t fight my natural inclinations in writing longer fiction, not and have something that I can read to myself without becoming irritated. I can make slow changes when I notice something that I do a lot, or if it’s pointed out to me enough times, but dramatic shifts in style or voice? No, not unless it’s something very short, or earth shattering.

    I tend towards verbosity, with lots of details, character development, and world building. I also tend to write my conflict scenes with lots of details. I aim for a fairly high degree of rationality and believability in my characters, with a definite dislike of handing the idiot ball off on anyone except genuine idiots.

    I have no idea what a editor might call my voice. Maybe one day I’ll be fortunate enough to find out!

  4. Bob Nailor May 11, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I have tried to place myself into a described pocket, socket, hole, whatever. I can’t. My stories run the gamut. I write science fiction, fantasy, horror, adventure, and now, Amish Christian. I know, who knew? I even toss in some romance with each of the genres but I don’t really write romance. I’ve considered porn, erotica and deviant but can’t bring myself to write that stuff – too embarrassed or fearful of what “others” will think. I loved the boxing analogy.

  5. Charles Dougherty May 11, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Good post. I’m in a narrow niche — sailing thrillers — but pushing a second series in the direction of romantic suspense.

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