3 tips for developing your writing style

 In Jo-Anne Richard's blog, Tips for Writers

1. Write a lot

Style is just another word for voice. The only way to generate a style that is uniquely yours is to write. Voice is all-important, and very difficult to prescribe. It can’t be taught. It’s the one aspect of writing which simply has to develop, with practice. Malcolm Gladwell said that, to be an outlier, you needed to put in your ten-thousand hours. To develop a recognisable voice, there’s no alternative: you must write, write a lot.

2. Write clearly

If you’re seeking a quality to guide your own writing, choose clarity. Ask yourself, is it as clear as I can make it? It’s easier to aim for than, say, beauty or lyricism. Aim to be as clear as possible, and it may well turn out to be beautiful.

3. Write authentically

Don’t try to please other people. And neither should you write in a way that you think will draw a certain kind of audience. It’s difficult to pull off, and your writing will come across stilted. Everyone has valuable qualities which are worth developing in their writing. Try to be authentic, to be yourself, and allow your own world-view, your quality of humour, your love of rhythm or image, to emerge. Go with what you have, and play with it. Be true to yourself and you will become the best you can be.


Book recommendation: Pity the Reader: On writing with style by Kurt Vonnegut and Suzanne McConnell

Sign up our Logic of Story or Focus on Scenes coaching programme. Over the two week period, you’ll be propelled into a daily writing discipline, while developing your practice – effortlessly.

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how to be a writer writing advice