I think all of you guys have experienced it, especially my readers that are regularly writing new content and stories (whether or not they’re actually being shown to someone!), so I thought today, I would go through my absolute favorite tips on finding your personal writing style that I’ve come to discover in my short twenty years of life and my even shorter two or three years of writing!
ONLY TRY AND COMPARE YOUR STYLE WHEN DISSECTING OTHERS’
My first tip is a bit of a double-header, as well as a word of warning. Especially when you haven’t really found your unique voice as a writer yet, try not to compare your style to that of other authors. There are websites like “I Write Like…” Where you can literally compare your text to other writers out there but this can really drive you over the edge if you get too into it. Comparing yourself to others, in any kind of work or creative outlet, can be dangerous to your self-confidence.
However, what you can do when it comes to other writers is do a little dissection of their work to figure out why it is you love their style so much. For instance, if you love Tolkein and want to emulate his style in your own, instead word it as figuring out what you like (and dislike) about his writing t improve your own so that might mean giving yourself more reign when world building and describing your characters’ surroundings.
LET OTHER PEOPLE READ IT
Nine times out of ten, you won’t be able to recognize your own style, even if you’re the one writing it. But, if you get someone else, perhaps a beta reader or a trusted friend (probably not your editor just yet, that’s really not their job) and just ask for feedback on how they think the flow of the stories an characters are moving. Of course, this goes along with any feedback or edits you’re going to get, but trying to focus on your style and writing generally rather than the minute details can be really helpful.
EXPERIMENT AND TRY WRITING IN DIFFERENT, ESTABLISHED “STYLES”
One fun thing I’ve always loved to do is take something I’ve already written (maybe a page or so, nothing too long) and rewrite it. I might try and emulate a bit of Hemingway and cut down on adverbs and really just stick to the essentials. Or, I might channel Dickens and spend an entire page describing a curtain. Remember, this is just for fun, so don’t worry with what might seem weird or out of character for you, because it’ll probably stay as just notes anyway. But who knows, in experimenting and playing around with your style, you might find something that sticks!
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
As with anything else, practice is the main way that you’re going to see improvement when it comes to your style. Continue working on your pieces and figure out what you like about it, what you don’t like, and what want to practice even more on.
DON’T OVERTHINK IT
Much like an artist, you really shouldn’t be worrying about your style at all. Many times, writers won’t personally recognize their own “style”, but when other people read it (as I mentioned earlier) it’ll help make the picture a little clearer. Your style is something that should come as naturally and as fluid as possible, or it’ll feel like you’re forcing it, which will make your writing seem shallow. And no one wants shallow, we want nice and deep characters and plot lines!