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How to write a Novel: What is Style?

This is another one of those terms writers throw around but I don’t know if they actually know the meaning of. A writer’s style is their unique trademark. It’s the way the writer uses words, plot devices, the tone they uses and the way they speak to their audience in order to tell their story. This particularly stand true for third person writing. Every writer has a unique style because essentially style is just the voice of the writers and even though they are all unique some styles are similar to each other. It’s like people’s voice patterns. The voice patterns can sound the same, but there’s something very unique about them. The same is with writing.

For instance my writing tends to be blunt and very straightforward. I don’t waste time on trying to sugarcoat what I’m saying to fool the reader with adverbs and adjectives. I write what I mean. That’s not to say that I don’t know how to mislead the reader with word choices. My style is taken common words that people think they know the meaning of, but whose meaning has changed depending on context and connotation. I like to mislead my readers by using words exactly as the definition states knowing that my readers don’t know the exact definition. It can be something as simple as the difference between sympathy and compassion (go look it up if you want to know the difference). I also have a dry wit and sarcastic sense of humor that many of my readers find funny.

I’m also very good at describing emotions in prose without it being purple and that more than makes up for the face that I’m not comfortable with writing romance or emotions in general, so that skill comes in handy.

Those are my trademarks and even though I have to tweak them to fit whatever genre or mood I’m trying to present. That’s how my sister can find my writings if they're online. My style can’t be missed.

So I know some of you are like “Omg! I don’t know what my style is!” But that’s okay. It took me not only years to be able to pinpoint exactly what my style and tone was, but also to perfect it, and I’m still trying to perfect it! But that’s okay. You’ll find it and here are some tips.

1) Write the story the way you would narrate it if it happened in real life.
The game is a little different when you’re writing first person, but definitely when you’re writing in third person (NTS: Write a post on POV by the end of the week). I tell my stories about my daily life the same way I would tell it when I write and I didn’t notice the correlation until a year or so ago.

2) Read the story out loud to yourself.
The way you read to yourself tells a lot about your style of writing. My writing has an eerie way of showing emotion and being calm at the same time and sometimes it’s hard to tell in my writing whether the narration is sarcastic or serious because there is some truth in what’s said. That’s that dry humor part of my writing. Others will be different.

3) Do you say what you mean and mean what you say?
Knowing what you meant when you wrote something and whether it comes across as what you meant or not can tell you a lot about your style.

4) Study other writers’ style.
Analyzing the style of other writers can help you pinpoint your own. It’s the same way with editing. If you edit other people’s stuff, you learn about the problems in your own work.

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