Monday, September 24, 2007

Self-Referencing and Self-Study

I must have hit some sort of milestone this year, for I found myself looking up facts in one of my own books from the 1980s. I guess that's to be expected, because a couple of my books were the leading titles in their subject areas back then.

That prompted me to read some of my old work from the 1970s, and most of it turned out to be better than I imagined. An article on electric cars that I wrote in 1977, for example, could be published today, and I wouldn't change a word.

But I still found many things that could be changed. And in general I found my old fiction to be a bit less readable than my nonfiction. Perhaps that's because I'm more critical of the writing in fiction, the form being part of the content.

That inspired me to do some comparisons between my old and current work. I picked out a few stylistic tricks that I hadn't been aware I was using. (All of which will go into my book on writing style and technique.) Try it yourself.
Copyright © 2007, Michael A. Banks

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