This week I have looked at four separate novelists which have all made a great contributions to the two genres, but all have used very different writing styles. In summary:
David Gemmell – fast paced, exciting stories, interspersed with highly developed character development outside of the leading cast. The sort of novel you can’t stop once you start.
Bernard Cornwell – Gritty, realistic adventures closely matched to real events. Strong emphasis on real history, and very clear and understandable battle scenes. Will finish one of his books feeling you have learnt a lot, without realising how.
Robin Hobb – Slower paced, but beautifully written novels, with a lot of detailed description and strong emotional journeys. Immersion guaranteed into a rich and vibrant world, through close connection to leading characters.
George McDonald Fraser – History told in the most unorthodox of styles – with a leading character as far removed from the mainstream as can be imagined. Detailed history of the nineteenth century including some of its lesser known events; all held together by the author’s sharp wit and dark humour.
So you can see that there is no generic method for writing and being successful. Each of these books are very different in their approach, but everyone tells a fascinating story. You can see how varied both genres can be and how diverse the writing.
However there is one thing that all these novels have in common – strong characters. I will be returning to the characters in novels in future blogs as I think that is the true test of a novels enduring charm…