Ornate Vs Modern
Let’s take a look at two different styles of writing a love passage: “She lay against his arms, her head flung back on his shoulder, her eyes glinting at him under their curved lids ’Detestable creature! Manner less , conscienceless, overbearing, selfish, arrogant. Oh! How much I dislike you’ she sighed,, ‘And how much you dislike me! I’d as life be mauled by a tiger! You’re mad too. Never were you more thankful to be rid of anything than of me! Own it!” (Georgette Heyer)
As the author wrote romances with as 18th century backdrop, she used an ornate style while the more recent romances are like this: “What you mean is you just want ahead and arranged my life for me. As dictatorial as even in fact.’ She had no intention of telling Greg that from the minute she saw him, she had known he was the fantasy she had always had locked inside her head, the special man, the midnight lover who came in dreams and was gone by morning. She had never expected to meet a man who matched that blueprint, but when she did, she could not get him out of her mind.” Notice the sue of words like “dictatorial”, “blueprint”: very modern and familiar.
Two first person stories and see the style of each: “For as far back as I can remember, the line between fantasy and reality has been hopelessly blurred. I have taken most of a lifetime to grasp that this is the key to my very existence. It has brought me more than my share of heartache and conflict, disasters and disappointments. It has also unlocked doors that would otherwise have remained closed for ever.” (Roman by Polanski).
“I am going to pack my two shirts with my other socks and my best suit in the little blue cloth my mother used to tie around my hair when she did the house and I am going from the valley.” How Green Was My Valley by Llewellyn).
How can one talk of style and not mention P.G. Wodehouse who was the master of humour? “If you search that portion of the state of New York known as Long Island, with a sufficiently powerful magnifying glass, you will find tucked away on the shore of the great South Bay, the tiny village of Bensonburg. You get all sorts there—the rich in their summer homes, men like Russel Clutterbuck, the publisher – and mingled with them, the dregs of the proletariat, the all-the-year-rounder who have to scrape for a living. The Trent girls, daughters of the late Edgar Trent, did their scraping in a small farm at the bottom of the lane that led to the water”.
The next question is: how can one develop this style? It can’t be taught – it has to come from within. But one can certainly work towards it by reading voraciously and learning from it.