This week’s guest poster, J.C. Martin, needs little to no introduction at all. She’s a rabid writer, bookworm, kung fu fighter, teacher, gourmand, dog owner, and fabulous blogger!
Very quickly, I will say that she’s hosting a wonderful contest on her blog called, Race to 200 Blog Contest!
*To sign up, go here and enter your information in the linky at the bottom of the page!*
And now, with no further ado, here is J.C.’s awesome guest post!
Everybody’s Kung Fu Writing…
In the words of Po the Panda:
Having said that, I love writing just as much, if not more. 🙂 Given the choice between becoming a martial arts master or a published author, I’m choosing to pursue the latter (although my sifu is still trying to change my mind!).
When Genna invited me to write a guest post for her blog, she suggested something that combines my two passions. In many ways, trying to get your novel published requires the same amount of commitment to your craft as a martial artist pursuing his or her black belt: the discipline to practice, practice, practice, every day; the desire to constantly improve and to hone your skills; perseverance in the face of adversity (or when faced with a pile of rejection letters); and, above all else, a burning passion for your art.
But the similarities don’t end there. Just as there are hundreds of different martial art forms around the world, there is a wide variety of writing styles: from the simple to the extravagant, from the succinct to the wordy, we are all masters in some style of wordplay—we may just not know it yet. 😉
So, read on and find out what your butt-kicking alter ego is!
The most common martial artist among writers of literary fiction, your prose is as elaborate and energetic as the break dance-like Brazilian martial art itself. You favour style over substance, choosing to expend the majority of your muse’s energy on weaving and spinning words together into an intricate literary dance. You dazzle your readers with spellbinding displays of word acrobatics bursting with raw emotion, but be careful not to confuse them so much that they lose the plotline!
The Escrima Exponent
OK, so this is not so much a writing style but a writing habit. Like the weapons-based martial art, you rely heavily on tools when you write. Be it your laptop, networked to your desktop, and synced to your Blackberry, or your multiple back-up drives, writing/editing software, ergonomic keyboard, portable Dictaphone, digital dictionary/thesaurus…you are a super-productive writing whiz with your technological arsenal, but be careful not to become overly reliant on them.
Stealth is your middle name. You skulk in the shadows, scribing away in efficient silence. A night owl and lone wolf all in one, you work best alone, under cover of darkness. Like a silent assassin, your plot twists strike suddenly, overwhelming your unsuspecting readers in a flash. Your self-imposed solitude makes the road to publication a lonely one, and when trouble strikes, you’re on your own. For the sake of your sanity, seek support from fellow kung fu writers and beta readers on this long and treacherous journey.
The Sumo Wrestler
Size matters to you, be it the length of your epic manuscript, or the big words you wield with your pen. Your main strategy is shock and awe. Your writing is brutal and powerful, hitting readers with the force of a freight train. When printed out, your telephone directory-thick manuscript can pack quite a wallop, too. From antidisestablishmentarianism to zymogenesis, you are a walking dictionary, and no doubt a super-heavyweight champion when it comes to spelling bees. Nevertheless, be careful not to appear supercilious and overly loquacious, especially to those with hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia. When you are editing, look out for redundant words that do not contribute to the story/sentence. And that 200,000 word manuscript? It may need to go on a wee diet…
The Wing Chun Master
Bruce Lee is arguably the most famous student of Wing Chun. His oft-quoted phrase, “Be like water”, reflects your style of writing perfectly: your prose is simple, yet fluid, capable of being soft and gentle one minute, and explosive and devastating the next. You follow a set of principles that are basic but effective. You don’t waste too much time and energy on flowery descriptions or fancy displays of prose. You are direct, succinct; each word written is aimed at maximum emotional impact. Just be mindful your WiP doesn’t end up reading like an Ikea furniture assembly manual.
Martial arts wise, I have a black belt in Wing Chun. As a writer, I’m probably a Wing Chun Master with a dash of Ninja thrown in. 🙂
What about you? What is your kung fu writing style?