My writing feels really rugged and not what I 100% want

I'm no stranger to writing novels. My previous project, called Emental, I had worked on for several years and constantly developed my writing style to be whimsical and fun. However after I got over my writers block that lasted several years to work on my new project, Dice Dungeon, I find that my writing style has, in a way, deteriorated. My writing, in my head, feels stiff.

Can anyone help me spice up the writing in my current project?

Re: My writing feels really rugged and not what I 100% want

Hmm. So it's basically a case of rusty writer. I know what it's like.

I was a traditional novellist and my style tends to lead pretty purple; I like painting scenaries in the mind and describe detail that I see clearly in my mind. Thank Terry Brooks for putting that into me. But the last version of that draft I tried was ~7 years ago and looking back on it, I'm still not happy with it. So I try again and I learn a lot of new things, like just how purple my prose can be. T-T (learned that the hard way)

There's no real way to get out of it, but I will share one thing that helped. The original draft of The First Flame that was to hit Royal Road had a drastically different story for My Demons and the style was actually way more traditional. There was also a detail about Arylos that I didn't realize didn't work until I rewatched Hellsing which was the original inspiration for Arylos's carnivorous behavior. That perspective change let me try something new and actually discover more about the character that I actually liked more in this version.

It seems weird, but try viewing the story from a different perspective; both plot and narrative style wise. You could watch your favorite show or movie and try to describe a scene in there that you know pretty well and play with the style and perspective to get some practice. Or if you have an original inspiration, go back to it and see if it can offer some insight. Getting that fresh perspective can help you get out of the "how do I write this? How do I explain this? Do I even want to spend time doing this?" hole that can trap you, especially if you're rusty.

Effectively, it means you lost your original style and you need that burst of sudden inspiration to get it to come back to you. Another example I have is that I used to be a metal musician back in the day. I often played hard rock and metalcore but I wanted to try different elements like mixing in more orchestral and band elements. I recently tried this with Starset's "Where The Skies End". I kept the traditional instruments but I wanted to experiment combining a saxophone with that track so I made a recording replacing the synthesizer with an alto sax and the song changed theme entirely and this track that I knew inside and out suddenly sounded fresh and new and it made me want to do more experimenting.

So play around, get some inspiration in you and get that spark back and develop it back into your style. There's no real right answer to that in my opinion besides just have a bit of fun and let loose; lower your expectations and open yourself up to surprise. Like Lays chips and Nutella; the results can be quite pleasing.

Re: My writing feels really rugged and not what I 100% want


Taco Wrote: Can anyone help me spice up the writing in my current project?
Then you should write more to shake off that rust. Your style is your style. That's how voice works. It's hard to change and write in a new authorial voice. Best is to strive for it with every project, but in the end, the voice is "you." And it's hard to change who you are. You'll always show in your writing for those who look, assuming you don't polish that out with rewrites. The author voice is what makes your fiction truly unique.

Re: My writing feels really rugged and not what I 100% want

When losing passion for something I find the best way to get back into the swing of things is to write for myself, to get away from whatever story I'm working on, and work on something different and fun. Listening to music, watching movies, and just thinking to yourself is sometimes enough to get new ideas. Once those ideas hit you, flush them out some and boom! You have the drive to try and write them down again.

Re: My writing feels really rugged and not what I 100% want

Depends on what " feels stiff " exactly mean. In my case, I consider the most important to like what I write, because if you do, you can overcome all the hurdles along the way, well, I was basically unable to speak English when I started many years ago.  People certainly begin to pay attention more to their style and grammar when they write a lot, but I think it is important not to forget the very core of writing, the fact that you like writing your story, because all the superfluous technicalities will crumble into dust without it.

Re: My writing feels really rugged and not what I 100% want

This might sound a bit strange, but one good way to reinvigorate your writing so to speak is to try and compare your works against others. Take, for example, a scene of someone drinking a cup of coffee in a book you like, now write your own interpretation of the scene and try to compare it against that. After you do so, try to see what the original work does well, maybe more description of the flavour, sight, or smell, and try to incorporate that into your own work. Í'm not saying to copy, rather take inspiration from what you deem to be the best at what they do, and take inspiration or even incorporate aspects of it into your own style.

I really enjoy the way Kinoku Nasu writes fight scenes for example, so a lot of my fight scenes are written with similar elements as his.

After all, there is a quote that goes by 'To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.'