The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, February 04, 2005

Finding your own style

Really, just writing lots and lots of stuff will take care of this, but here's a suggestion that has worked for my students:
1) Choose two of your favorite writers.  Call them "A" and "B".
2) Write one story imitating writer "A"
3) Write a second story imitating writer "B"
4) Write a third story imitating the way writer "A" might imitate  writer "B"
5) Write a fourth story imitating the way writer "B" might imitate writer "A".
By the time you've finished the fourth story, you will have begun to create your own quirky approach to storytelling and prose craft...and be well on your way to a style of your own.
By the way--one of the most common stupid things young writers say is: I don't read, because I'm afraid of stealing someone else's stuff.  Oh, please.  Steal.  Steal from everyone.  Everywhere.  And make it better.  If it was good enough for the Bard, it's darned well good enough for you.

No comments: