Help (and some concerns) on identifying Joe Abercrombie's writing style

Ursa major

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Language that is at least neutral.
Where neutral is defined by whom?

I would suggest that it is defined by each reader, which helps writers not one jot. What you find neutral may not seem so to me, and vice versa (as we both are allowed our own particular bêtes noires**).

I suppose what it comes down to is the writer -- and their editor(s) -- doing their best to be neutral from their own perspective(s) and hoping that most of their readers agree with their decisions... and writing a story that draws the readers in to such an extent that they fail to notice (or don't care about) such linguistic anachronisms that remain (of which there are bound to be many).

Who'd be writer, eh?


** - Or be aware of the origins of different sets of words, some which stand out as anachronisms to only one of us, and others stand out as anachronisms to the other.
 
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Brian G Turner

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Language that is at least neutral.
This is very much what our own Teresa Edgerton has recommended in a previous discussion on use of language for period fiction. I'm not sure what I thought at the time, but I definitely agree with her now.
 

Christopher Lee

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I'm going to put my two cents in here for a moment. Joe Abercrombie, like some have mentioned previously, has his own style. Joe writes like Joe and nobody else.

This worked for Hemingway, Meiville, Mccarthy, and many others. People love reading these authors.

People also love reading Joe Abercrombie. Not everyone, just as not everyone enjoys the authors mentioned above. The ones who do enjoy him and the others, i believe, are people who simply enjoy the stories these authors are telling. They aren't nitpicking grammar, sentence structure, style, etc. They simply love the stories.

I could be wrong, but I believe that other WRITERS tend to allow this nitpicking to get in the way of a good story. I could be totally wrong, but I've observed this both here and other places.

Just my two cents, simply an opinion.
 

Toby Frost

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Well, yes and no. We’re not seeking to rubbish Abercrombie, although personally I think all of the really big fantasy writers get slightly over-praised. His style clearly appeals much more to some people than others, and to an extent this is a discussion why. For what it's worth, I think The First Law has very good characters but only a reasonable story, in that it's a lot like old, cliched fantasy turned upside-down and told through a "grimdark" filter.

I tend not to take much notice of what a writer’s doing while I’m reading his books. It’s only at the end that I’ll stop and wonder how he achieved that (if at all). I do think that writers use a lot of tricks that work on readers to make the story more effective, although readers don’t consciously notice them, and this discussion involves trying to spot those tricks. Overall, I would argue that for a writer to tell a good story, they need to understand those tricks and techniques as well as just having a good plot. And I think Abercrombie is a much more style-heavy writer than, say, George RR Martin. I suppose this is quite a “writerly” thing to do, but if you mean to write well, it’s good to see how other people do it.
 
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