Style And Voice, by J. Spence



Style is difficult to define. Every writer has their own style, usually one that starts out as something different compared to when they’ve been writing for a while. The more you write, the better your style. As time passes, you will learn to put together words in a certain way that is personal and unique to your writing.

Style develops as a number of key elements fall into place. The foundation stone to writing is a good understanding and execution of grammatically correct English. Then there’s your emotional approach to whatever your subject matter is. Intensity, humor, intelligence, and romantics are a few things writers can bring to their subject matter.


Even your personal values affect and influence your writing and help to develop your style.


Even your editor will influence your style. When your first book is successful, your publisher will expect you to write another, and another in the same style. Published authors tend to get boxed in to a particular style. Sometimes, they need to find a different publisher to break this trend.

The bottom line is that everything you are formulates your style. What is important, is to find the style that makes you happy.




How do we distinguish between style and voice? Voice usually has to do with for whom you are writing. Who is your reader? Are you writing for a six year old? Or, are you writing for an eight or thirteen year old?

Writing as a narrator can also give your writing a voice. Who is this narrator? Is she Anne Franks? Her voice about her life during World War II is would be unique for that era, filled with emotion of the situation she found herself in. In this case, you are using your character to express attitudes and fears.


Your voice will be unique to your writing, not found anywhere else, nor subject to duplication by others. And a unique voice is exactly what editors are looking for. This will keep you out of the “slush pile” (unsolicited manuscripts authors submit to magazine and book publishers).



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