What is style in writing? In this post, we define it and discuss seven choices that affect a writer’s style.
What Is Your Literary Style?
Style, in its broadest sense, is a specific way in which we create, perform, or do something. Style in literature is the way an author uses words to tell a story. It is a writer’s way of showing his or her personality on paper.
Just as a person putting together items of clothing and jewellery, and applying make-up creates a personal style, the way a person puts together word choice, sentence structure, and figurative language describes his or her literary style.
When combined, the choices they make work together to establish mood, images, and meaning. This has an effect on their audience.
7 Choices That Affect A Writer’s Style
- Word choice.
- Sentence structure.
- Sensory details.
- Figurative language such as metaphors and similes.
- Sound devices such as alliteration and onomatopoeia.
I believe every author has a unique style that can’t be taught. However, he or she can refine it by reading other authors, trying different literary techniques, and through plenty of writing practice and experience.
Your style could be described as pithy, articulate, inarticulate, conversational, literary, rambling, or poetic. Follow this link for 60 Words That Describe Writing Styles.
Style can mean different things
Remember that an editor’s definition of style refers to the mechanics of writing, including grammar, punctuation, and formatting. This differs even more depending on whether the editor is in a creative or a business field.
Companies and institutions use style guides for their employees and writers to follow. The rules change depending on the guide.
Online UK Style Guides:
- The Guardian Style Guide
- The Economist Style Guide
- The Telegraph Style Guide
- The Modern Humanities Research Association Style Guide (mainly for writing theses).
Online US Style Guides:
If you enjoyed this post, read:
- The 17 Most Popular Genres In Fiction – And Why They Matter
- How Do You Find Your Writing Voice?
- Which famous writer’s style is most like your own?