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In response to Becca I did intend today’s post to be about different kinds of blogs and readers, but as soon as I started, I decided I could have more fun if I made it into a new page on the blog. So I did – you can see the page link at the top. And if you go to Becca’s blog, you can see what she did with the same project brief!

As you can see, two pretty different results.

But that’s the thing about writing, isn’t it? Give two writers the same brief, and they’ll do two different things with it. Laurell Hamilton has remarked on this, and so has at least one other author I’ve read.

Makes me think, how much of a writer’s output style is due to personal choice, and how much is down to character? Does a book turn out the way it does because the author sits down and says to themselves “I shall write a dark fantasy with overtones of hardboiled detective fiction”, or do they just write what comes and if it turns out as dark fantasy with overtones of hardboiled detective fiction, is that just how it is.

Or is it somewhere between the two?

How much is it possible for a writer to change their ‘style’? Take Mercedes Lackey, for instance. Most of what she writes is girly, pink, fluffy fantasy. I know this because I’ve read an awful lot of it (which I wouldn’t have done if there weren’t times when that was what I wanted to read). To my knowledge, she has never done ‘dark’. Is that because she chooses pink-and-fluffy, or is because pink-and-fluffy is who she is? What would it take for her to write ‘dark’ – or could she even do it?

I think it must be possible to change the ‘feel’; I think Jacqueline Carey has managed to do it with her new series (Agent of Hel). J.K. Rowling is obviously trying to do it with A Casual Vacancy, with mixed success.

Writers, do you choose to write the way you do? Or does it just fall out of the pen that way? If you don’t like it, can you change it?

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