Especially since there's one piece of style I just. can't. do. for S.T. that I keep noticing. It's partly because of how RP works -- there's this odd detachment in the style of his canon that doesn't show up as much in conversation scenes, and a lot of RP is conversation.
But that's not really an excuse -- I need to figure out how to write it and just do it. And I have no idea how. I know I can't kick myself too hard -- I am not Neal Stephenson and I'm writing this stuff fast, but argh. I've peeled back one layer of the onion and now I see all the flaws on the next layer -- I'm worrying less about characterization and metaphors and I've got a bunch of the sentence rhythms to a point where I'm happy with them.
This is not a "please reassure me" post -- I'm frustrated, not upset. It's just a rant, and a way of keeping myself honest because now that I've pointed it out publicly, I'll be better about keeping it in mind and working on it.
ETA: Huh, there's an idea. I just pulled up the tiny smattering of Stevenson fic in Yuletide, and one of the reviews on the first piece that actually nailed the style called it "proclamatory". That's a damn good way to describe it. Still not sure how to do it, but I'm starting to find the edges of it and how it snaps into place with the rest of the verbal quirks.
I think too much about these things.
And double huh -- I just tried writing a sentence or two aiming for those style points again, and it came out in present tense. Unintentionally. Okay, so something about this and present tense are intersecting weirdly in my brain. Again, data point with which I have no idea what to do.