I feel like I don’t know him anymore…

Have you ever read two books by the same author and feel like, if you didn’t know better, you would think two different people wrote the books?
I’m going through that right now with Davis Bunn. Over the summer I read The Book Of Hours and loved it. So, it seemed only natural to pick up Gold Of Kings. I am finding myself feeling a bit thrown off by it, however.
The Book Of Hours was a novel of lyrical prose, emotional depth, slow building tension, and tons of word paintings. It’s not the type of book I usually read, but it completely won me.
Gold Of Kings, on the other hand, is fully of short, clipped sentences, straight to the point descriptions, one twist after another, and paragraphs full of bullet casings.
It’s not that it’s bad…just different…unexpected.
The question is, how safe is it for an author to so completely change his style/genre?
From a reader’s perspective?
It’s purely subjective. In my eyes, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve read authors who can easy make the jump and some who seem to lose their touch for the written word when they try something new.
From a writer’s perspective?
As a writer, I really need to change my style from time to time just to keep things interesting for me, but it’s not always a good thing. When I took a shot at writing 3rd person, everyone in my family really liked it. When I tried writing a novel in “journal style” I was lovingly told to go back to what I was good at. :P

As a reader or as a writer, what do you think?

4 thoughts on “I feel like I don’t know him anymore…

  1. Some of my greatest disappointments as a reader have been when a favourite author has written a book with another author. I never find that I like the style even if I may have liked one or both authors previously. I don't mind an author changing their style but if it's radically different then I usually don't like it.But as a writer I like to experiment with different styles!

  2. Combining authors is a tough one. I can't even imagine how that is done. Can you?The only team writers I know who write better when they are together than apart is Mary Higgans Clark and her daughter Carol. I guess it's just all about striking a balance.

  3. I think it's best (as both a writer and a reader) if writers stick basically to the same writing style in their books. It just makes things seem more consistant… For myself, I like to stick with what I know best and only make slight changes to my style for the purpose of improving it, not to change it. ;-) When I first started writing short stories, I always wrote in first person, but somewhere along the lines I switched to third person and discovered how much better I liked it because it gave me more of a descriptive license and a way to cover more than one character. :-)

  4. 1st person and 3rd person are highly debated in the writing world. Proponents of 3rd person agree with you; more descriptive freedom. Proponents of 1st person say it gives them a chance to touch deeper in the heart of the character.I like both, but I do think 3rd person is a little easier. :)

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