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In The Style Of

What will you see in yourself when you try out someone else’s style?

"Asthorix" image by Louis Davilla Wiyono (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

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A few weeks ago, in the “Mixing Media” challenge, I opened with the famous line, “The medium is the message” — that is, the style and manner in which you communicate something say just as much as the actual words or images you choose. This week, let’s push that further with posts done in the style of someone (or something) else.

In “The Story of Brexit, in the style of Mideast reporting,” blogger Adam Kotsko writes about Brexit in the othering, hyperbolic tones often used for stories about violence in the Middle East:

Radical Protestant separatists have rocked the European Union, voting to leave the federation that had tenuously unified Christians belonging to opposed sects. Britain, which adheres to its own idiosyncratic version of the Protestant sect, had only recently reached an uneasy truce in a territorial dispute with its Catholic neighbor, Ireland. It is hoping to join a group of other Protestant countries in Northern Europe who have negotiated trading privileges while keeping their distance from the Catholic-dominated group.

His style choice accomplishes two goals: first, the language highlights how overblown he thinks most Mideast reporting is. Second, it hints that Western Europe, at its foundations, might actually have more in common with the Middle East than it might like to think. In the end, his post wasn’t really about Brexit at all.

(And this challenge doesn’t mean you need to be serious: the image at the top of this post is a drawing of Thor, done in the style of popular cartoon character Asterix.)

This week, publish a post in the style of a writer or artist you admire, or in the style of another genre. You don’t have to write about politics or current events to give this a try — you could just as easily:

  • Take a photo of your local playground in the style of Ansel Adams.
  • Write about what you did over the weekend as though it were science fiction.
  • Share a favorite childhood memory, written as though it were dialogue in a play.
  • Publish a recipe as a poem in the style of e.e. cummings (or plate the finished dish in the style of Picasso!).

Publish on any topic you’d like, but with a new lens — who knows what you might reveal?

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  1. Hello and help,

    I am not sure I understand the assignment. I know what mixed media is, but I am struggling with this.
    Even though I mainly write non-fiction articles, should I try poems or plays?
    Thank you,
    Emma

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    1. You can still write non-fiction — write about whatever you normally write about, but try writing in a different style. You could write in the style of an article in Cosmo, or as a dialogue, or like a newspaper article, or in the style of a Buzzfeed list.

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