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WHAT IS WRITING STYLE AND HOW DO YOU DEVELOP IT?

What is style and how do you acquire it? We all have
a natural style. Style is simply the way in which you
put words together when you are writing. It is a reflection
of your speaking and thinking habits. Clear, muddled?
Some people write in short staccato sentences,
sometimes even without using verbs. I believe style
can reflect your personality, eg. serious, brusque, friendly,
chatty, "whacky, breezy"... and so on.

In some ways, people can write differently to the way
they speak.

I don't usually speak much...but I use plenty of words
in my writing!

Good style is essential in any writing.

You won't get published without good style.

It means writing with clarity and precision.

Writing is a craft which needs to be learned and practised,
so be self critical.

I try to write simply and with little doses of my 'weird' or '
bizarre' (not bazaar) sense of humour and have written
this article in a "short and sharp, punchy" style.

I also have a serious, yet simple style for my novels on
South Africa. They are written "from the heart" In a totally
different style to this lesson/article's "brief, punchy and
to the point" style. I wrote ANGOLAN DAWN in a different
style to my other novels to portray the way an unsophisti-
cated big word!) Angolan migrant labourer would see the
world, think and speak.

In my non-fiction works, like this article and my self-help
books, I try to write in a style that will best accomplish
my writing aim: to "inform, entertain and hopefully even
inspire people to reach out and become all they are
CAPABLE of being".

HOW TO USE DIFFERENT STYLES

Your style can vary from time to time to suit the subject.

A good writer is able to vary their style to suit the subject
matter andthe publication concerned.

For example, use short simple sentences when writing
for very young children.

When writing articles for magazines, keep them strictly
factual and to the point.

No room for my flowery sort of language!

Style varies from publication to publication.

Some prefer to stick strictly to the facts of the matter,
while others allow their writers to digress.

IS YOUR MEANING CLEAR?

That for me is good style.

TONE
This reveals your unique personality. It means "how are
you coming across"? #

# Can I end a sentence with a "preppie"?

Is your tone angry, arrogant, breezy, sarcastic, bitter,
ironic, cynical or informal?
What do you think is the tone of this lesson (article)?

Tone may be used to inform or instruct.

You should use variety in your choice of rhythms.

In my non-fiction works, I try to write in a simple and
unobtrusive style, with the odd "whacky" bit of humour
thrown in to keep the reader entertained,as well as
informed.

I believe anyone can improve their style by reading and
writing more.

Look at how successful authors do it and make a mental
note (I have no time for reading these days!).

Practice your own writing regularly, stand back
dispassionately and look at it.

Read the words out aloud, or preferably get someone
else to read your work out to you.
Ask yourself this important question:
DO THE SENTENCES FLOW NICELY?

Look at the flow: Is there variety in the length and
structure of the sentences?

Correct awkward phrases or obvious repetitions.

Check is your meaning clear?

With no waffling (must heed that one!).

Then rewrite and rewrite to improve the quality of your
work.

Top writers rewrite many many times over.

Be aware that style can be changed to suit circumstances.

Style is very individual - it is your own style...and is YOURS
alone - your unique personality "shining through".

Style may be simple, formal, and even utilize slang, or
be more complex with long sentences, sub-clauses and
paragraphs; but it should never lose its essential clarity.

The essence of good style, I believe, is SIMPLICITY.
In writing articles for say, newspapers, your preference
will largely depend on your market.

For example in the UK, British newspapers like 'The Sun'
generally have a short and sharp style - to appeal to
the masses.

'The Times' usually has longer and more demanding prose
to stimulate "more edu-ma-cated" readers.

I've written this article in a "short and sharp, punchy" style.

I also have a serious, yet simple style for my novels on
South Africa. They are written "from the heart" In a totally
different style to this lesson/article's "brief, punchy and
to the point" style. I wrote ANGOLAN DAWN in a different
style to my other novels to portray the way an
unsophistocated big word!) Angolan migrant labourer
would see the world, think and speak

In my non-fiction works, like this article and my self-help
books, I try to write in a style that will best accomplish
my writing aim: to "inform, entertain and hopefully
even inspire people to reach out and become all they
are CAPABLE of being".

*
When I write articles for "the international market" of the
net, I don't target particular countries and try to adapt
my writing style. I've found that people around the world
don't seem to mind the fact
that I may use "funny" words or spelling - small details,
like "s's" instead of "z's", color or colour...as long as the
grammar is reasonably correct. I just try to write in my
"natural style with the odd bit of whacky and zany" humour
- one in which I feel comfortable
(seeing I was brought up in South Africa with British
English) and suggest you writers do the same.

My advice is just find your "natural style" by writing as you
Speak - as practice writing in your "natural style" breeds
confidence. I hope this article may be helpful
to you in learning more about your own "natural style."


Craig Lock
My various books are available from: http://www.novelty-gift.com/


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