Improving Your Writing Style

An anonymous author wrote this line in the book, Primary Colors, “Read for craft, not for joy.” Of course, authors read because of their love for books. However, reading is part of an author’s job. You should do more than just enjoy reading a novel; the author should study the novel as well. 

The quickest way to develop and improve your writing style is by reading successful authors. Below, I will give you an example of how fast your writing style will change and develop, by studying the writing craft. 

Let’s say you read ten different authors and adjusted your writing style based on what you learned. This is what will happen… 

~ You read a few James Patterson novels and decide that you will write short chapters that are less than five pages. The reader will have a sense of accomplishment, as they whip through chapter after chapter. 

~ You read a few Stuart Woods’ novels and decide to shorten your paragraphs to no more than seven lines. This speeds up the tempo and it feels like the action never stops.

~ You read a few Robert B. Parker novels and decide to use quick exchanges of character dialogue to illustrate a scene or plot twist, which can be more powerful than narrative description and increases the reader’s interest.

~ You read a few Sue Grafton novels and decide not to over describe scenes. This keeps the story moving with essential descriptions only.

~ You read a few John Sandford novels and you discover the brilliance of page breaks. When the reader starts a book, they begin with “A” and finish at “Z.” In the reader’s mind, “Z” can be a long way to the ending. When page breaks are added, then the reader goes from “A” to “B” to “C” to “D” and so on. The story moves like taking in quick breaths.

~ You read a few Dan Brown novels and decide that a well-written power sentence will make the reader gasp and hook the reader to each page.

~ You read a few Stephen King novels and decide not to hold anything back in your writing.

~ You read a few Michael Crichton novels and decide that section breaks with mood-setting poems throughout your book will add more emotion to your story.

~ You read a few Joseph Finder novels and decide to let your characters take over your writing. As your characters become alive, so does your story.

~ You read a few Janet Evanovich novels and understand the importance of how a novel sounds. The voice of your characters ring true for the readers.

Here is a description of your new writing style, based on reading the above novels:

The reader will have a sense of accomplishment, as they whip through chapter after chapter. The speed and tempo feels like the action never stops. Quick exchanges of character dialogue to illustrate a scene or plot twist, more powerful than narrative description to increase the reader’s interest. The story moves like taking in quick breaths, with gasps and hooks on each page. Nothing is held back, creating more emotion to the story. The character’s voice is alive and rings true for the readers.

Wow.

I like your style…

Ron Knight

www.authorronknight.com

Ron Knight

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Comments

  1. Great blog post and so true. I ALWAYS tell new writers that they cannot possibly write unless they read a lot. Reading different styles so they can hone their craft and understand plot and characterization. I also think reading books that aren’t that well written can help as well, as a writer can see what made them stop reading so they don’t repeat those same methods.