Mar 5, 2012

How important is a writing style

For sure, writing an essay or dissertation is different from writing that is bouncy and playful and you know immediately when you start to read that you are reading a story, or a poem, or some lighthearted banter rather than a serious dissertation. Writing in the right style is therefore important as there is nothing more irritating for readers who want to read something from their favorite writers in a certain style to find that they are reading something stiff and boring. When people return to blogs of favorite writers it means that they are in the mood for a particular writing style, for example, some Rushdie prose or some Faulkner seriousness, or whatever other style.

Novels, sagas, historical fiction, mysteries

Recognizing the style of a particular writer is the same as stepping into a house and hearing a piece of music whose title you don’t know, but just recognize in some part of you. And so too you recognize your favorite writer’s writing because of its warm style and familiarity. You know the ‘voice’ of the writer, you recognize the style, and you know what to expect. In Gabriele Rico’ book Natural Writing he examines the writing styles of Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Gertrude Stein, which showed a masterful piece of Hemingway writing that used the word ‘yes’ as a period. Faulkner’s piece was heavy and dark. Stein’s work was stream of consciousness writing. Many times when we purchase a book we are not even aware that we take the writing style of the writer into account rather than the topic of the book.

A writer’s signature

A writing style is a writer’s signature, and book titles are cleverly worded to appeal to readers who are hooked on mysteries, sagas, historical fiction, novels and the like. When you become used to a certain style of writing, and like it, you want more. You don’t easily go from a Salman Rushdie reader to a writing style which resembles Agatha Christie’s. We buy books by certain writers because the voice of the writer resonates with us and we know the mind of the writer and the kind of conflict and ending we can expect.

No comments: