How you write, like how you look, comes under the umbrella of style; in this case: your writing style. It’s how you put the words down, how you structure your narrative, some of the themes you use and it’s this part of your writing skill that’s the most malleable. But it’s what’s vital for you to grow as a writer. We learn to find the voices of our characters with character viewpoint narrators and these are the voices we hear as the reader. If you opt for the more old-fashioned omniscient narrator, we will hear your voice.
But even if we hear you or you choose very different voices to narrate, underneath that is the way you orchestrate the phrasing, the choice of words, the way you bring it together and the more you write, the more you develop your own style.
It’s this style that becomes part of your signature as a writer and is the reason readers will stick with authors. They might be a fan of the genre; but if they like how you write this will be a main determinant of whether they buy the next book.
Learning your craft, in all aspects of writing, is vital and I think that it was in learning I started to find my own voice in terms of style and the more I write, the more that’s developed. Some of it will be inherent, but writers who think they already have a good style when they start out are probably also suffering from a touch of delusion. The main point is we all start from different places, so some of us will be ‘better’ writers at the beginning to others. But style is something that develops with you, as you learn. And it is important because agents and publishers don’t want to read the same thing all the time. They seek those interesting, different, original styles that make your novel about a little girl who went missing, different to everyone else’s.
Style is not as easy to define as other aspects of writing, but it is vital. Take a look at some of your work and see if you can identify your own unique style.
Style is your personality stamped into the pages of your work.