How to develop your writing style

Style Master
Ernest Hemingway

Usually I write about grammar, but what about style?

Grammar, if you know the rules, can with effort and dedication be learnt. Style, however, is unique to the individual.  Writing in your own voice almost as you speak, is how you will develop your style.

When you build your unique style, you readers will begin to recognise your work before they see your by line.

Ernest Hemingway used to begin his sentences with ‘and’ or ‘but’, that was his style; Dickens used aesthetically complex sentences, and that was his style. So, each writer has his own style, which is the sum of all the writing mannerisms, choice of vocabulary, and grammar constructions. Will your sentences be long or short? Will you use words that are simple or sophisticated?

Identify a style you like, and work with that.

Once you become familiar with your style, you can learn how to adapt it for a medium.

For example, if you would write for an academic journal you would need to adjust your style accordingly.

How can you develop your own writing style?

Read more and analyse what you read as you go on. When you read professional publications, you get to know the specialty of a writer. This is a first step towards building your style.

Browse articles and read closely subject matter of your choice. There is a huge variety of international newspapers and magazines available on line. Time Magazine is one of my favourite.

Do not follow Wikipedia for style. Wikipedia is written by different contributors and is edited all the time. The articles may have factual errors and a hodgepodge of grammar to it is not the best place to study style.

An important aspect of style of course, is that grammar and punctuation have their place. If these go out the window while you try to develop style, your credibility rating will suffer immediately. Nobody wants to read a new writer who doesn’t get the grammar right. There are many sites that can assist you with grammar, so there is really no excuse.

If you have something to stay, why not start writing? Learn to express yourself with the written word and find your own unique voice.

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