iUniverse presents tips on developing your own writing style

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As a novice author, you probably want to devise your own unique style of writing. iUniverse commends this and wishes to offer you the following advice. One thing to keep in mind is the avoidance of excess verbiage: shorter is generally sweeter, especially in this day and age. Here are some further tips below:

writing style

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Use authors that you enjoy reading as a guide

Do note that this does not mean “duplicate”. However, have a close look at what makes you very fond of this particular writer or writers – their ability to create suspense, ironic word choice, eccentric characters, etc.

Use descriptive verbs

Descriptive verbs add the dimension of “spice” to your writing. Students don’t “write” notes – they “scribble”, for example. The more you can use descriptive verbs, the more you can keep your readers stimulated.

writing style

George Orwell

Avoid bombastic language

Readers of the 21st century do not want to need a dictionary when they are reading – even if they are reading on a Kindle! The objective is to make the reader understand. One of the early writers to adopt this style was Arthur Conan Doyle, in his Sherlock Holmes stories. They are written with polish but also with straightforwardness. Another example is George Orwell, who writes in a smooth, swift style.

Sentence length

Modern readers have difficulty with sentences of more than three clauses, and it is best to stick to two or less. Strive for a “flowing” quality to your prose rather than a heavy or even clumsy quality.

Paragraph size

As with sentence length, keep your paragraphs on the short side. Readers these days feel relieved to see lots of white space on a page. Six sentences per paragraph is the maximum, though 3 to 4 is ideal.

iUniverse is committed to helping you develop a unique and compelling style that readers recognize and enjoy. We’ll be back with more guidance on this topic. In the meantime, try writing a few passages heeding the advice above.

Make sure to check out the iUniverse site for more advice and blogs, as well as iUniverse Facebook and iUniverse Twitter.



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