If your answer is “No,” then this article is for you.
Here’s a quick definition of style: the way you put together a sentence or group of sentences.
The problem with figuring out style is there is no one sure way. It’s subjective. Depending on different forms of writing (essays, articles, stories, etc.) and different disciplines (science, art, humanities, etc.), style may differ.
To develop your writing style:
1. First, focus on YOUR STORY. What’s your story about? What themes are present in your story? Who are your characters? What is the tone of the work? Before you can even focus on the nuances of style, you have to understand your work as fully as possible. You are the creator of this work – no one else. Everything we are to know and believe of the work must be derived from you.
Once you have a firm sense of your work, focusing on the other tips can be an easier journey. Now, this doesn’t mean your story is PERFECT; it just means that you understand what you are trying to do with your creation.
2. Avoid WORDINESS. If you have a clear understanding of what your story is about, you can read your work to erase wordiness and leave your work with strong, concise prose. Wordiness includes clichés, qualifiers, and stock phrases. If you spot a cliché, ask yourself, “What am I really trying to say here?” By doing this, you’ll more than likely find a stronger way to write the line. Qualifiers are words like (very, often, hopefully, practically, basically, really, mostly) – they take a strong statement and muddy it with vagueness. By eliminating most of these, your writing will only improve. Stock phrases are groups of words that replace one or two words. Here are a few examples (the shortened version of each is in parentheses): Due to the fact that (because), Despite the fact that (although), In the event that (if), Concerning the matter of (about), It is important that (must). By continuously asking your, “What am I really trying to say here,” you can help eliminate many of these wordiness issues.
More tips to developing your writing style coming soon!
Shon Bacon is an author, editor, and educator, whose biggest joys are writing and helping others develop their craft. She has published both creatively and academically and interviews women writers on her popular blog ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING. You can learn more about Shon's writings at her official website, and you can get information about her editorial services at The World According to ChickLitGurrl.