Tips on developing your own writing style – Part II

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As with Part I, iUniverse wants to assist you with developing a style which is engaging to readers and with which you feel comfortable. Here are some further suggestions below.

Tune your tone

writing style

Mark Twain

Tone is not easy to develop, though bear in mind that it takes some time. Mark Twain has a comfortable, humorous, somewhat informal tone to his writing, though he never goes too far to make himself sound uneducated. Nathaniel Hawthorne has a very formal and serious tone, and Dickens has the tone of the master storyteller mixed with Victorian sentimentality. See, tones are not easy to describe – so just keep working on this one.

Have adverb-phobia

Take a close look at your adverbs and see if they are really necessary. You’ll find that many of them can be disposed of. Think about the following sentences:

His father shouted loudly at the driver.

The turtle crawled across the beach slowly.

These sentences have redundancies. “Shout” makes “loudly” unnecessary. And of course turtles crawl “slowly”. Don’t let adverbs clutter up your diction and become an unwelcome distraction.

Keep your allusions within reason

Writers face the temptation of wanting to display their knowledge to impress readers. Unfortunately, it is difficult to be aware of what your readers know, and what they don’t. If you want to make allusions, try to make them to books, movies, etc with which most of your audience will be familiar. References to obscure works will do little to keep your readers interested, and may actually have the reverse effect.

The reader has to find it interesting too

Certainly, there are lots of things you want to put into your book, that amuse or interest you. But make sure your focus is on the reader’s enjoyment, not yours. If you can combine the two, you’ll probably be on your way to a nice writing career.

iUniverse looks forward to seeing new and engaging writing styles. Follow the tips above and work on developing a style that you enjoy reading. It’s not easy, so be patient with yourself – you’ll get there!

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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