In the Trenches: A Question on Writing Style

I pushed another query out yesterday. Go me. However, it got me thinking. Yes, a dangerous occupation I know. What can I say? I like to live on the wild side.

Near the beginning of this experiment in querying, I wrote an essay titled “Commercial Enough?” In that essay, I pondered the question “Is what I am writing going to interest a market?” Today I’m looking at a similar question.

“Is there a market for my style of writing?”

Blog posts aside, I do try to write well. Sorry, blog posts are usually informal and very fast. I do hope folks notice that I’m starting to take more time and care with them. That, however, is not my concern.

My concern is that an editor, publisher, or agent is not going to like my style of writing. The main reason for my concern is that, to me, my style varies wildly from scene to scene. I’ve had moments of lyric prose. Faulkner would be proud. Within the space of six pages my syntax, rhythm, word choice might condense to the sparse prose of a news writer, ala Hemingway.

Small note to the reader. I am in no way comparing myself to the likes of Faulkner and Hemingway. I use them as two extremes of writing to illustrate the stylistic divide I see in my own writing.

In a way, the change in prose reflects some of the ‘life by committee’ going on in my own head. Especially in this story where I am presenting a character with Complex PTSD, I think the different ‘voices’ of the writing support the clashing dimensions within my main character.

But, like I said earlier, I wonder if the shifts in style are going to be unappealing, or even confusing to the reader. A story about a person who lives with tremendous inner division and confusion is already, I fear, a hard sell.

If the writing reflects the inner division of self, is it going to enhance the story or merely confuse folks who don’t live with a missing central ‘I’?  

Your thoughts?

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