6 Tips to develop your own writing style

How to develop your own writing style?

There are as many writing styles as there are authors. Defining your personal voice and writing style can help you feel comfortable and confident in your work, stand out from the crowd, and connect with your readers.

Writing is like cooking: when you prepare a dish for the first time, you probably follow the recipe to the letter, measuring all the ingredients to the millimeter and respecting the preparation times. But once you have prepared said dish a few times, you will probably dare to improvise and add a little more of that spice that you like so much.

The same thing happens when writing. First you will have to observe and then you can experiment until you reach your own style. Right now you are thinking that this is very easy to say and you are probably eager to read those tips that we have promised you. There they go!

1. Read, read and read

In our MI bestseller office in Rotterdam we have books everywhere. Because? Because we are proud of all our authors and we like to read almost as much as you do. Reading seems like an obvious necessity for writers, but we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to finding your own writing style and being creative. If you think you have problems being creative when you write, you can take a look at our article on how to develop creativity in writing.

But let’s get to the point, in this sense it is necessary that you remember your favorite authors and how they bewitched you and why with their writing style. What makes you have that special connection with his texts?

“People will forget what you said, they will also forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou.

Whether you are a new memoir writer or your career as an author is already extensive, the truth of this phrase does not change. It’s the way you put your words together that makes people feel.

In this sense, try reading something you wouldn’t normally consider and try to imitate their style. Romance is a good example to write about the emotional bonds of characters. Crime novels are great for practicing writing along a common thread and for combining multiple stories. And fantasy promotes your creativity when creating a new world or unreal characters. Give free rein to your imagination!

A little advice: pay special attention to metaphors, descriptions, word choice, sentence structure, comparisons, etc. You could even take note of all these observations in a notebook. Every time you find an interesting passage in your readings, write it down. Whether it is the way a character speaks, the detailed descriptions of the settings, the pessimistic tone of the novel… it is about choosing the fragments that have captivated you and analyzing why they have done so.

2. It is important to know how to speak

Which speech impressed you the most? Steve Jobs’ 2005 “Stay Hungry, Stay Dumb” Stanford speech? Barack Obama’s “Yes we can”? Or perhaps Aragorn’s speech at the Black Gate of Mordor in “The Return of the King”? It’s amazing how speakers choose their words: they pause, raise their voices, use rhetorical elements, and above all, they make us move. So choose the speech that you personally like the most and analyze it. What combination of tactical elements does it use to be so captivating?

Listening to and analyzing your favorite speech will not only help you recognize different ways of phrasing and promoting vocabulary, but it will also help you promote new ideas. For example, you can subscribe to Ted Talks podcasts and listen to them while you run, cook, or go to work. In Ted Talks, speakers (and hobbyists) from around the world give short speeches about brilliant ideas or discoveries.

You can also try giving a speech yourself. You can start in front of the mirror and continue at the wedding of a family member or friend. You will notice that it is not easy to choose the right words, but over time they will come to you more fluently and it will be much easier to achieve. In a similar way, when you put your thoughts on paper, you will find that you write the same way you speak: authentically, fluently and quickly.

3. Experiment with different writing styles

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, finding your own writing style is like cooking, it’s about mixing, changing, trying different things, making it more your own, etc. Of course it is important to practice writing in your own comfort zone and in the genre you like the most, but as we already mentioned in tip number 1, you learn much more by experimenting with other genres, audiences and linguistic media.

A task that we suggest you do and that could be very helpful in defining your style is that you try to experiment with different genres:

  • Poetry
  • Political speech: both right and left.
  • Children’s and youth literature.
  • epic fantasy
  • Satire
  • Recipes
  • Etc.

The further away from your comfort zone you are, the more you will learn.

4. Smart TV

As you well know, television is a medium of mass captivation. We all love movies, and they are full of drama, puns, dialogue and crying. As in the case of writers, each film director has his own style, a style with which they differentiate themselves from the rest and manage to captivate viewers. Clear examples in which we can clearly identify the director when we see one of his films are Tim Burton or Quentin Tarantino.

In this way, you can be inspired by series and movies through the following elements:

  • Pay attention to the structure of their dialogues and their impact.
  • The structure: does the introduction give the viewer clarity or is it more of an unsolved puzzle? What is the environment like? How do they manage to maintain suspense?
  • Inspiring and unique phrases: “At the end of the day, tomorrow will be another day.” (Gone with the Wind). You can modify these phrases slightly and use them for your book.

5. Know yourself and your readers

We are all humans. We all have our problems, questions and issues to deal with. Sometimes we can express it clearly and other times it is just a very strong feeling inside us. You may have already experienced how a text describes exactly what you feel. You recognize yourself in him and agree with each of his sentences.

You will never forget those words.

If you know your readers very well, you can respond precisely to their emotions, concerns or desires and generate the same reaction that you experienced. Many readers imagine their readers as people with names, characteristics, concerns, and dreams. In this way, the writing style becomes more personal, because you are no longer writing to several question marks, but to Laura, who represents your target group.

Sometimes even the author is identical to the reader (imagine an autobiographical book about a person who has suffered from anorexia): both have a similar experience in common. In this case: if you know yourself, you probably know your readers too.

6. Ask your family and friends for opinions on your writing style

Sharing your work with others is a great step, even if it’s just with friends or family. But feedback is extremely important for both thematic and linguistic style. This way you will discover what you are missing, what you have achieved and you will probably be able to get new ideas. If you stay in your own bubble for weeks or months, you will most likely lose track and know your phrases by heart. External opinion will be what you need in these cases.

You can also join different book writing services groups on Facebook. Since most of these writers don’t know each other, the feedback will be even more objective. This way you will have the opportunity to also read other people’s texts and give them your own opinion. Who knows, maybe you’ll even make new friends or gain some readers.

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