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Writing 101: Your Personality on the Page

What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. If you’re up for a twist, write this post in a style that’s different from your own.

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We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.

Today’s twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.

Earlier in Writing 101, both Michelle and I have talked about voice: that elusive element that sets you apart from every other writer out there. Style, however, is different. Your writing style might affect your voice, but ultimately style and voice aren’t the same thing.

While your voice is your own, and something that’s innately you, style is much broader. You might prefer long and complex sentences, or sentences with a lot of commas and layers building upon each other, or perhaps intentional run-ons and thoughts bleeding into the next and no pauses and lots of imagery and never-ending moments that run onto the next page.

Or, you might write short sentences. Fragments, even. Simple prose.

Think back to your assignment on sentence lengths. What kinds of sentences do you prefer, or find yourself writing naturally?

Style is the answer to everything.
A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing.
To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it.
To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art.

— Charles Bukowski

Novelist Raymond Chandler also called style the most durable thing in your writing — “a projection of personality, the product of emotion and perception.” While writers have their own styles, style can be mimicked — you can approach a piece intentionally to create a certain effect. (We once asked writers to write in Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo style — take a peek for inspiration.)

If you need a boost, consider these examples of style: Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las VegasErnest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants,” and Toni Morrison’s Beloved

Need a helping hand? Head to The Commons.

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  1. Oh this is a tough one…I think I have a very “loud” voice. My style just screams to show through! I’ll give it a whirl though…I’m probably just noisy and bossy all around 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My worst fear did not exist a year ago. I was afraid to get unbearable pain again, because I went through it for a few months in 2005-2006. But in late 2013, I became enamored with a force I could not imagine. I gladly coughed up 60,000 to visit her. And I’m not a rich guy. The fact is that every woman has had men inside her glory before I arrived in her sweet presence. It had no bearing on my love life. I have been licking on and been praised and felt good.

    Then I felt in love for real. The great Love of my life. She. She. She. But at the same time, it dawned on me that the G-spot is not a myth. This thing inside the tunnel exists for real.

    You should never talk about earlier relationships, but we did. Now I sit all nights studying the G-spot on the Internet. Because she told me that temporary relations with men have given her the big O. She talked quite a lot about it actually. This pinched the dread fear inside me, the daymare which had been waiting my whole life for an opportunity to hit me.

    I am her great love of life, I, and she did not love these men. So she says. So what if she does not get the big O with me who she loves? While she got it during a one night stand?

    I dare not be close to her. I dare not touch her before I know everything about this G-spot. I must know the exact position and the right motions to give her the biggest O ever with me, the man she has the greatest love ever for. Big love should give big Os, but I know it is not that easy. I am afraid to lose her if I do not succeed, Life has become a hell, A scary place. Already one year ago I felt I could die for her. She is so beautiful, nice, smart, funny, and I adore her. I am proud over her. I am afraid of her. I am no longer sleeping or eating. I will die, because I am a looser and bad lover who will loose this G-spot race.

    A ridiculous death.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I really liked it. I think it made the post more punchy which was good given the topic! Perhaps not a style to use all the time but one you could use for subject matter that needs a bit more of a hard hitting impact?

      Like

  3. Please take a moment to read my blog post on mental health and the fear/phobia which contributed to a break down I had. Its quite personal but I think mental health should be discussed more openly. Thanks :)http://creativecraftsandallthingsdaft.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/an-insight-into-mental-health-and-battling-my-own-personal-demons/

    Like

  4. I haven’t written much, but from what I have on my computer I can say it’s descriptive, contains humour (I like to think) and uses a mix of short and long sentences. I mostly use long sentences, and have to include a lot of commas as I list out descriptions and try to form detailed images in a string of words.

    So for this challenge I made my sentences as short as I could manage, less humour and more intense, and include little description, just focus on providing information and perhaps inspire emotions in the reader.

    Here’s my reply: http://roachalk.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/being-alone/

    If you read, please let me know what you think! Thank you (:

    Like

  5. I think I have definitely found my voice/writing personality. I sound like a wispy 22 year old at the crossroads of life. I think the real challenge for me will be writing from a different perspective.

    Like