I am a writer. Before coming to university this would be something I would be very hesitant to say or admit, even to myself. However, I’ve discovered that anyone who writes can be a writer but what I endeavor to be is a good writer. Before taking this class, I had never given much thought about writing styles and how they differ. I had thought about genre, book length and character development, but writing style and plot devices never came into question. However, the different styles that were presented in the books in class have been something of a revelation. Jeffrey Eugenides The Virgin Suicides, which is written almost clinically and nearly entirely in exposition; Virginia Woolf’s Orlando: A Biography which is written as a stream of consciences that seems to bend genres; L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables which uses narrative just as tirelessly as it does description; and Andi Teran’s Ana of California which is an adaption reimagined so well that it would read well without even having read Anne of Green Gables and written so modernly that todays readers don’t have to think twice about style.
While the latter’s writing style is in no way revolutionary, it is the one I resonate with the most being a modern reader and writer of predominately fiction. The way it is written seems to be done effortlessly, even though we know that a lot of work, rewriting and editing is put into novel writing to make it read so smoothly. The plot device used in Ana of California, as I am discussing in my essay, regards how the past can act as the main instigator that leads to tension in the present. If Teran had used another style, let’s say stream of conciseness, to present the issues of her novel they would have come across completely different. Instead of showing the dynamic relationships between characters, we would have only been privy to predominately one persons thoughts on the interactions rather than the developing ties that connect and isolate characters from each other.
The modern style of writing may be the most common in novel writing, but I believe that it is because we have evolved now to be expert storytellers. While academically the public might be interested in older forms and styles, and just as excited about new ones, it is the classic style writers have honed and perfected that ensure they have readers at all.