Now, I know what you are thinking but no, this is not about book signings, press releases, or PR related what have you's! Today's blog is about the little things in a novel that amount to the 'author's signature'.
What is an Author's Signature
It's a nuance. A tiny little detail that the reader will most likely hardly notice during the first few pages of the book but might grab them when they pick up another work by the same author or before the end of the final page. It can be something as simple as a particular style that marks that writer, a catch-phrase or a descriptor that they use once per book under their name, a cameo where the writer pops up somewhere in the background of a single scene, or even a deliberate mistake such as a misspelling of a particular word or small grammatical quirk eg. "To boldly go..." instead of the more grammatically correct "To go boldly..." No matter which author you are currently reading the odds are highly likely that they will have that little easter egg tucked away within their writing.
Why Should Author's use a Signature?
There are several reasons an author has a writing signature. Firstly, it distinguishes them from the others that are writing similar works in the same field. It makes them unique and it's part of their style. Secondly, it makes their writing harder to copy. There are some very nefarious people out there and it's open season for plagiarists. A subtle author signature is like a watermark that makes their work more difficult to copy and makes it obvious to their fans that this copy is not legit. Finally, it's a bit of fun! It's a little extra that fans of that writer know will be there and they will look for.
What's Your Author Signature?
Grammatical mistake. I end every dialogue with a full stop instead of the usual comma. It's a small thing. It's unlikely that my readers notice it unless of course, they happen to also be English teachers or fellow writers. In fact, the fellow author might put it down to a typo, but that is the point of a signature. It is a deliberate choice made by the author. Why do I choose that signature? As far as I know, it hasn't been done and before any of you comment saying that I've now told you what my signature is, don't worry, I have a little extra in there that you can go and look out for without my input.
Go and Check you Books
So now you know, go and check out your favourite authors. Pick up their most recent work and their first one and see if you can find the secret to their writing. Perhaps you will discover something about them that you didn't know was there. This blog has been a short one. Right now, I am on rapid race to see the release of my second novel in The Drau series hit the shelves by December/January. You can be sure that it will have my signature within its pages.
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