Faber Session 8 – Guest Tutor Mick Jackson

Arrived in a foggy rainy London 😦 That’ll teach me to wear suede boots! Lol

So I arrived at class with wet feet where we went straight into a discussion/talk by Mick Jackson which was all about Pace & Style.

A few of the things I took away from the session:

Style seems to be more important to reviewers and creative writing tutors.

style should develop naturally. Each writer has their own style.

Writing is like a game of tennis between the subconscious mind and the conscious mind.

Can you reproduce another writers style?

Pace is the speed of the narrative.

Adding back story can slow down the pace if not weaved into the story.

Attach little details to the stream of narrative. It shouldn’t stand out.

Reading your work aloud can pinpoint problems in pace, but it can also help you establish if you have a set style.

A fascinating session, and now, I’m sitting in a hotel room enjoying some chill out time 😉 So if I’m quiet, you know why. I’ll catch up with you all tomorrow 🙂

Do you think you have a style? I think I can see a style developing within my work but I will definitely be reading my work out loud from now on 😉

22 thoughts on “Faber Session 8 – Guest Tutor Mick Jackson

  1. One of the first things I was taught in writing class was to read it out loud. I agree with the tennis analogy finding it especially true as do the NaNo. And am aware of the back story issues. One of my biggest down falls. I definitly have a style – for what it’s worth. Sounds like a grand course and hope the rain stops by next month when I’ll be visiting 😀


    • I’ve read stuff out in writing classes, and heard people say you should do it with dialogue, but hadn’t thought about it helping with pace. I guess, now, it makes perfect sense lol 😉

      Style seems something that seems to be difficult to describe, but, I definitely tend to write the same way.

      The rain did, finally stop…..this morning! Lol

      Whereabouts in the UK are you visiting honey?



  2. I think “style” and “voice” are synonymous. It makes the writer who he or she is, and makes his or her writing stand out and distinguishable. I would definitely say it’s one of the most crucial parts of being a writer. An underdeveloped style gives a writer an “everyman” voice which doesn’t stand out.


    • Yeah, Mick did say about voice, but then, when you’re writing in first person POV and a different character each time, hopefully, the voice would change wouldn’t it? Whereas your style probably wouldn’t. The two do kind of blur into one, I agree 🙂

      That’s very true Chris, and we all want to stand out.



  3. I can only repeat what Chris has said. I couldn’t have put it better. I add just one thing. The four sisters in the Dudley Girls Saga are each very different characters and I have found that, although the style is the same, my voice changes with each personality. Hope that makes sense. x


  4. Flip! My comment hasn’t been saved. It was, I agree with Chris. The only thing I would add is, in the Dudley Girls Saga each of the sisters have very different characters and although my writing style remains the same, my voice changes slightly with each of their voices. Hope that makes sense. x


  5. I always read my work aloud – when nobody’s in! I think I have a style which develops more with everything I write. I try to only write what comes from the heart – otherwise what I write sounds stilted to me.


    • I think there are specific authors who have a strong style. They used Martin Amis as an example. Apparently, the minute you start reading one of his novels you KNOW it’s a Martin Amis (I will definitely be reading a couple at some stage).

      Good for you Sabrina 🙂



  6. Vikki, I enjoy each of these Faber Sessions. About style and pace … I think my style is my unique voice. I could not and would not want to “sound” like anyone but myself and I think the reader will hear it and enjoy. Pace has been a bit of a problem for me to master, having come off a strict literary education, I tended to put too much back story. Then my genre fiction hadtoo much talking. I used a color code suggested by Margie Lawson, another talented writing teacher, and highlighted all dialogue in blue. Too many solid blocks of blue showed me where I was remiss. Now, I don’t need the colors to show me and as I reread my drafts I set the cadence according to each character.

    Thanks again for a great post 🙂


    • Thanks Florence 🙂

      I wish I could give more info on each class, but I just try to pick out the bits I found most interesting 🙂

      Do you write in 3rd person or 1st person? I think, writers who write in 1st person, their voice is the character, so style is probably more prominent in those books.

      That’s a very good idea honey, thanks for the tip. I guess you could also do the highlighting thing with back story 🙂



      • I switch back and forth. They have a very different “feel” and create a different sound. I like them each for different reasons, but find the freedom of third person and multiple POV better for my mysteries and first person more comfortable for the women’s fiction.


  7. I kind of see style as the way you present things, e.g. you often describe things a certain way, where as voice might be what you write about, and what you have to say about it. Different to a character voice which usually needs to be a little different so characters either stand out, or are easier to identify.


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