Weekly Writing Challenge: Stylish Imitation
When we send a post into the blogosphere, we want to make sure our best feet are forward. That means making sure errors like typos or poor grammar don’t detract from what we have to say; it’s one of the reasons The Daily Post highlights grammar issues many of us struggle with. (With which many of us struggle?)
Grammar challenges will follow up on grammar posts, calling on you to put your new-found understanding to the test. It’s one thing to read about the rules, but another to put them into practice.
To participate, tag your posts with “DPchallenge” or leave a link to your post in the comments. (It would also be great if you could link to this post to encourage people to take part – the more the merrier!) Please be sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge; obvious attempts to link-bait will be deleted. We’ll keep an eye on the tag and highlight the week’s best posts on Freshly Pressed each Friday.
Just over a year ago, our resident grammar guru, Daryl, posted his very first grammar musings for The Daily Post on writing style. A distinct style is what makes a writer recognizable, and is what we spend a great deal of our time developing as we exercise our scribing skills over the years. Unique styles differentiate us from one another: listening to the poetry of Oscar Wilde will sound much different than the short stories of Mark Twain, with or without the book cover and author’s name in view.
Like it or not, we all have our own style. Where we’re from, our local colloquialisms, our favorite writers, and our preferred subject matter all influence the tone and language in our posts. We do not blog in a vacuum. For this week’s exercise, tell us about a writer whose style most influenced your writing voice. Who was that author that when you first picked up one of their books, you thought, “I need to write”? What was the most memorable line you ever read by them and how did it exemplify their tone?
Better yet, you can tell us about your favorite writer’s tone, or you can take it a step further — after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Highlight a particular element of your favorite writer’s style, and incorporate it into a post of your own. Whether it’s their delightfully wry wit, the rhythmic insertion of repeated phrases, or lackadaisical sentence structure, become your favorite writer for a day (or an hour). If you go this route, try writing about what you’d normally discuss on in your blog: personal musings, your favorite artist, your sports team’s wondrous victory. The only catch is that you’ll need to discard your own style temporarily in honor of the wordsmiths who’ve inspired you.
Style is both deeply personal, and malleable. When you write using someone else’s style, you can tell: the words don’t come as easily. In the moments when you pause to formulate the sentences in your head so that they match the writer you’re mimicking, you think of your own voice: how you would say this, or describe that. In that time, you learn the uniqueness and strengths of your fabulously unmatched voice.
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