Writing style does not refer to your story. It refers to the execution of the story, the manner with which it’s written, and the way you string your words to build sentences, paragraphs, and ultimately, chapters and novels. Style cannot be taught, copied or even learned. If you write, you have a style, which can be precise and to the point, flowery and flowing, or belong in one of the million combinations between precise and eloquent. Your writing style is unique, but that does not necessarily make it perfect. The perfect style doesn’t exist. You can always improve upon your writing style, and make your stories masterpieces. Remember, even the most interesting, exciting story can be rendered boring through bad execution. Below, we have gathered several tips on how to improve your writing style as you’re writing, rather than improving upon your writing during the editing process.
1. Writing exercises
Turn away from your stories and projects every day and give yourself half an hour, or as much as you can spare, for writing exercises. In these writing exercises, you are to write a few short paragraphs – describing a person, a place, or dialogue between two people. After you’re done, analyze what you’ve written and decide what to improve upon. The following day, repeat the exercise with the sole focus on improving that part of your writing.
2. Write slowly
The goal of the exercise above is to give you the freedom to develop and improve your writing style. If you write fast during the exercise, you don’t have the time to think of a better word, a better phrase to describe a place, an emotion or a person. But, if you relax and write at a comfortable pace, you will be able to do that. The final result of these exercises is for you to discover new and better ways of writing and describing everything that happens in your story. And once you’ve discovered them, you will absorb them easily, and when you’re actually writing your stories, or the first draft of a novel, everything you’ve discovered and learned while writing the exercises will come out effortlessly.
3. Put pressure on your words
Make every word in your sentence important. If you find yourself hesitating over a word – then you can use a different word in your writing, and all you have to do is find it. Practice doing this and you will begin to do it autonomously while you write. This will not only improve your writing style and save you a lot of editing time, you will also grow more confident as you write, which will only lead to more improvement.
4. Research and learn
On the other hand, if you are trying to write about something – a profession, or something else that you have never experienced, it will be difficult to focus on style and how you’re writing. However, if you undertake the time to research everything you need to know and learn about that particular subject, you will be able to write more comfortably, and thus, focus on how you’re writing and be able to make every word matter.
5. Write before you write
In your novels and stories, there will be people, places, events and maybe even action scenes to describe. Even the best planned plot needs world building that feels real, important, and not manufactured for the purpose of your novel. In other words, you must convince the reader that the world existed before the protagonist and other characters lived in it. Well, the easiest way to do this is to write and describe the world and the places where your protagonist will visit and see existing before you write and describe the places in your story. You can create a reference book (which a lot of authors call “story bible”) which you can use while you write your story. This will free you from imagining the places and the physical appearance of the people and allow you to focus on which words to use to best describe them.
Image credit: Pat Guiney on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic. As an art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.