Take Things as They Are

Take Things as They Are

A Lesson by
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How to examine what style will work for your writing.

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We all admire certain writers. But no matter how much we love their writing and style, we cannot absolutely replicate their work in our writing. More importantly, we shouldn't try to copy their style in our writing just because we love them. Go ahead and copy, but figure out whether or not it is appropriate for your story, poem, or essay.

I wrote a novel that had a quick pace and easy-to-read language that translated as being young adult fiction. I was reading the Dune series at the time of editing the book and got inspired to make my book more epic with a more mature sounding style. I edited the first few chapters of my book as if I was Frank Herbert Jr. The new edition of the first few chapters were great to me, but to my writing friends, it was arduous to read. My friends wanted the young adult pace and feel to be back. 

The reason for the hiccup was because I edited my novel in a style that was not congruent with how the book originally written. The story's pace was fast and thrilling, and it was converted into an artsy-fartsy, overly-descriptive account. The novel was originally written for the fun of it and for others to have fun reading it. I shouldn't have tried to change its entire style and focus. I would have to write a totally different novel to do that. 

When you write your first draft of anything, note your intention and style. Why did you write the story? What style is it in? Your job as an editor is to determine how to satisfy your original intentions and to bring out your unique style to its fullest. 

Using elements of a writer's style that you admire is fine, but trying to outright copy within the original vision of your story can yield results that are awkward for readers. Have confidence in your own style. Learn from other authors, but let your writing live its own life.  

  


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Added on December 14, 2011
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