7 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.

Seven choices that affect a writer’s style:

  1. Word choice
  2. Punctuation
  3. Sentence structure
  4. Tone (155 Words To Describe An Author’s Tone)
  5. Sensory details
  6. Figurative language such as metaphors and similes
  7. 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.

Style Guides

Companies and institutions use style guides for their employees and writers to follow. The rules change depending on the guide.

Online UK Style Guides:

  1. The Guardian Style Guide
  2. The Economist Style Guide
  3. The Telegraph Style Guide
  4. The Modern Humanities Research Association Style Guide (mainly for writing theses).

Online US Style Guides:

  1. NGS Style Manual‎
  2. Chicago Manual of Style
  3. The Tameri Guide for Writers

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.

 by Amanda Patterson.

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This article has 0 comments

  1. Adrian Tannock

    I always enjoy posts that break things down into simple components, and this article really did it for me –– thank you. Sharing!

  2. Amanda Patterson

    Thank you, Adrian.

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