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Stylish Imitation

When we send a post into the blogosphere, we want to make sure our best feet are forward. That means…

  • Ready to write? Each Tuesday, we’ll provide a theme. Publish a new post on your blog interpreting the weekly theme. Create a pingback to this week’s challenge to share your post with the community. Learn More.

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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  1. I remember an assignment from HS that challenged us to take a passage from a novel and mimic their style as well. I was a senior, finished with requirements and taking creative writing as an elective. I was also a hormonal teenager.

    I chose Danielle Steele and a particurly tawdry passage too (In addition to be horny I was also rebellious). I gave it my all, penning a sensual scene from romance novel when I’d never even French kissed a boy before! It was a blast and…my teacher never did guess which was the “real” and which the “copy” (she obviously was not a Danielle Steele enthusiast)! It was really fun and I still enjoy writing in that romance novel style every so often, leaving my signature sarcasm and dichonmies at the door for a roll in the proverbial hay 🙂

    Sounds like a fun fun fun challenge!

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  2. Very interesting indeed, specially the last part “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”.

    I’ll try to adhere to this advice as much as possible, after all a person can only improve by practice and not being afraid to fail.

    http://environmentfreak.wordpress.com/

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  3. Honestly, I wasnt going to do this post this week. But something caused me to keep coming back. My inspiration for writing comes from an author who I admire and respect very much. She reminds me so much of myself.

    Writing this post this week brought out something in myself that I had not felt in a long time and I am very glad that I actually did this. It brought chills down my spine and tear to my eyes while writing and brought me back to a place in my life.

    I would love the feedback. Feel free to comment. This post means more to me than any of my others. Because it is about me..

    http://theinfinitejourneyblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/on-defining-myself-and-growing-up-swirled-my-first-words/

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  4. This one was truly a challenge. While I try to emulate the style of Sue Grafton and Robert B. Parker, when I discovered Janet Evanovich’s “Stephanie Plum” mysteries, I knew that I’d found my real role model. Her irreverent style and creative use of dialogue makes her novels hard to put down. I don’t know if I truly captured her ‘magic’ in the blog I did; I leave it to others to make that decision.
    http://charlieray45.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/being-janet-evanovich-for-a-day/

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