Today, I invite you to think back to a book or short story or even social media post you read that totally consumed your interest.
Can you pinpoint exactly what element of the story actually held your interest? The plot? The characters? Perhaps the conflict or information being shared?
If you chose one of the above, you could be right. But the one element you probably took no notice of was the author’s deliberate use of words to elicit just the right kind of feelings in you, the reader: the author’s style of writing.
SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS A WRITING STYLE?
A Writing Style/Voice is the manner in which a writer expresses their thoughts in written form. It is a reflection of the writer’s personality on paper. Just as a chef puts together various food items and spices to create a signature dish, the way a writer combines word choice, sentence structure, and figurative language describes his/her writing style.
Every writer has a unique style (we all have different personalities after all) that can’t be taught. A writer’s style, however, can be refined over time through practice and reading other authors’ works.
THE FOUR WRITING STYLES EVERY WRITER SHOULD KNOW
It’s a given that there are as many writer’s styles as there are writers. There are also only four general purposes that may lead a writer to pen a piece. These are known as the four styles or types of writing.
1. Expository Style.
This style is focused on explaining a topic to readers. Its sole purpose is to inform readers about the subject matter without the author voicing their personal opinions. It is the most common type and is often used in text-book writing, how-to articles, etc.
2. Descriptive Style.*
This style’s main focus is to create a picture/trigger emotions in the reader’s mind using descriptive words. Here the author employs all five senses to describe an event, place, person, situation, or thing. It is often used in parts of poetry, reviews, fiction/creative writing.
3. Persuasive Style
A writer uses this style seeking to convince the audience to agree with their opinion or to persuade them to take a particular action. Unlike expository, it contains the opinions and biases of the author. Used in editorials, motivational talks, adverts, sales pitches, etc.
4. Narrative Style.*
This style is used simply to tell a story. To entertain the audience using characters, dialogue, and description. It has a framework; a beginning, a middle, and an end. This style is used in short stories, plays, novels, poetry, etc.
*- Fiction and creative non-fiction authors use both the descriptive and narrative styles to write their books.
In my subsequent posts, I will be sharing the choices that affect a writer’s unique voice and why writing style is important to a piece of work.
Until then, cheers! ❤️