Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
I think it is important to keep in mind that the decision to make many stylistic choices, also hinges on the author's goals for their writing. Is he writing solely for his own pleasure and that of family and friends, or is his goal to try and sell the work to a publisher? If one has no intention of marketing their work, then, by all means, use any dialogue format -- or other stylistic choice -- that suits your fancy. But, if you plan to approach agents and editors with your work, it might be wiser to stick with more traditional methods. Why insert barriers that you can avoid? Simmons, McCarthy, and King -- in those examples I mentioned above -- were known quantities for their publishers. They have a proven readership and a track record of success. New writers trying to find markets for their work are already fighting an up-hill battle, I don't see the sense in adding rocks to an already hazardous path.
Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
I been saying this - You read early work by these guys it’s almost always conventional as hell.

James Joyce made his name writing romantic poetry. Everybody thinks Cormac McCarthy came out of the womb as some sort of literary primitivist but his early published short fiction like “Wake For Susan” is written like Jane Austen. Even has him using semi colons.

As a rock n roll band you have to earn the right to smash guitars and come on stage drunk.
Really? I would have thought that the music industry was far more open to innovation by newcomers than the literary publishing industry, so invalidating that comparison. That's probably why it's been far more exciting in living memory as well. I was just thinking of Kate Bush's debut single Wuthering Heights, written by her at age eighteen and hardly considered to be conventional even in the pop music industry then. Had she written a book entitled Wuthering Heights at that age instead then she would probably have had as much trouble publishing it as Emily Brontė did with the original.

Apparently the literary publishing industry needs to become more aware of the potential of "one hit wonders" in order to survive, especially now that self-publishing is becoming more of a prospective path. Music publication went through similar growing pains before innovations could come to the market as quickly as they do now. Without such evolution the written word may soon lose out to audio-visual entertainments entirely. It is said that today's youth find it hard to watch monochrome films because they don't look real in their eyes compared to modern full colour images. It isn't just about them being old-fashioned in content but about them being old-fashioned in style. Maybe eventually the written word will also become incomprehensible no matter how conventional the style of it is if the conventions themselves don't adapt rapidly enough.

The remarks made by the above members may be appropriate advice for younger new writers, but for old-uns like myself a long career in writing is highly unlikely and we can at most hope to be one hit wonders if a means of publication presents itself. It isn't about whether one wants to publish or not but whether circumstances permit it. Apparently Emily Brontė effectively had to self-publish Wuthering Heights, so personal style is probably the least of the obstacles presented to some of us and we might as well write in the best possible way for us, much as Kate Bush did, as her subsequent career clearly proved.

As ever the key thing is to be clear in your mind why you are writing and what you hope to achieve by it. That will guide you towards the way that you should write. Also bear in mind that some of the best known stories were originally written for friends and family and that publication came as an afterthought. A good story will always show through a flawed style, but a good style can't save a flawed story. Also, personally I am a very critical reader, so much so that I now read very little in the way of published works because they so seldom please me, so writing for my own pleasure is actually the hardest thing that I can attempt, not the easiest. The expression "writing for his own pleasure" suggests laxity, which is far from the truth for some of us. I would suggest that "writing for his own profit" actually lowers the bar, especially in the case of established writers apparently.

The bottom line is as ever -- don't ask how; write first and then ask for reactions to what you have written.