Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ART OF WRITING XI (style)




CHARM, they say, is more important than beauty. If a person has it, nothing else matters. If a person does not have it, nothing else matters too! That is what style is all about.
What sets a writer apart is this ‘style’ which is the expression of his craftsmanship. With the increase in the literacy rate and the clamour for reading material, a writer is a sought-after person. But do all writers supply what their readers want? Some do – terms of information, static s and other technical data. But a writer who wishes to use his talent to educate and entertain will have to be very careful about  developing a ‘style’
How does one define this word? It’s not easy, because it is a certain something with  you can recognize only when you see and miss when you don’t! let me give you examples of different styles so that you can work towards acquiring your own.
“When Jane and Elizabeth were alone, the former, who had been cautious in her praise of Mr.Bingley before, expressed to her sister how very much she admired him. ‘He is just what a young man ought to be’, said she, ‘sensible, good humoured, lively and I never saw such happy manners! Sa much ease with such perfect breeding!’ ‘He is also handsome’, replied Elizabeth, ‘which a young man ought likewise to be if the possibly can. His character is thereby complete’; ‘I was very much flattered by his asking me to dance a second time. I did not expert such a compliment’”.
This is as ample of Jane Austen’s style, which has been described as steady, with an unfailing balance of reason and sentiment, graceful and refined. Surprisingly, though she is still a popular author, her style is not suited to modern-day readers.

Forceful And Direct
Nearly a century after her, Emily Bronte brought in a forceful, direct and matter-of-fact style. “Mr.Heathcliff  forms a singular contrast to his abode and style of living. He is a dark-skinned gypsy, in aspect, in dress and manners a gentleman, that is as much a gentleman as many a country squire. Rather slovenly perhaps, yet not looking amiss with his negligence, because he has an erect and handsome figure and is rather morose; possibly some people might suspect him of a degree of underbred pride. I have a sympathetic cord within that tells me it is nothing of the sort; I know by instinct his reserve springs from an aversion to showy display of feelings to manifestations of mutual kindness.”
This lengthy sentence has only of full stop. You need to have a perfect command over the language to get away with it. In contrast to this, I’ve chosen a paragraph from an author who wrote a hundred years later—Jeffery Archer.

Conversational

William, now fourteen, was in his third year at St. Paul’ sixth in his class overall and first in mathematics. He had also become a rising figure in the debating society. He wrote to his mother once a week, reporting his progress, always addressing his letters to Mrs. Richard Kane, refusing to acknowledge that Henry Osborne even existed. She continued to hope that in time, would come around to liking Henry.” One can see the distinct change in style. The last one being more conversational and the construction of sentences, less ‘literary’.