Some questions about writing

Writers, have you ever tried to write a story in someone else’s style and stopped in the middle of it, then when going back to the story months later, you have to reacquire the style? There must be an easier way than reading the author again.

If you can’t tell from my user name, I’m a fan of HP Lovecraft. I have this half-written short story in his style that I did for fun, but I stopped a while ago and haven’t read much of Lovecraft lately. Now I want to finish it, but his obtuse way of writing escapes me. The story, I think, is decent, and the writing matches well from what I can tell. I just don’t want to take any shortcuts but other than reading a collection of his again, I find it hard to recapture his voice.

Also, does anyone do the following: There’s a section in another story I’m working on that I feel fits very well with a certain type of music. So whenever I put any work into that particular section, I listen to a song over and over again. I guess I can imagine the song playing in the background had this scene appeared in a movie instead of a book.

I think I use too many commas. That’s a problem when it comes to a certain section in my story that really is supposed to be fast paced (sort of a chasing, fleeing scene). Other than using less commas and periods, and making sentences longer and more run-on, how can I convey the sense of urgency in the characters?

Bah, stupid voice is failing me! I guess I have to reread that whole book…

Nobody has any insights on this though?

I never try to imitate anyone else, so I can’t help you there. But the key with fast paced sequences is to use short sentence and short paragraphs.

Read Hemingway. He could pack much into few words.

Read The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. It’s short and worthwhile.

Indeed. In fact, read the literary chapters in A Moveable Feast where he talks about how he does it. A recent example of this efficiency with words is The Road by Cormac McCarthy, which blew me away by how powerful, yet how sparse, its prose.