The way I went about planning and writing this post itself might reveal a lot about me, if only you knew all the things I did along the way!! But jokes aside, do you want to know what your writing style reveals about you?? I certainly did when I first thought about this topic. And I did some research around this to find out.
TBH, I am not sure how much writing can reveal about a person. After all, it depends on how much the writer puts of themselves into their writing. For example, I did a few quizzes over the world wide web, each one offering to tell me my writing style. And surprisingly, there were some consistent answers – for example, a few arrived at a conclusion that I could write novels (don’t ask me about that novel however… it is still in the fledgling of an idea stage!!)
What Your Writing Style Reveals (& What Does Writing Style Mean?)
Just like an accent all our known, or that sense of style (I mean, fashion, as in clothes… where my teenager says I had a better sense of style before I became a mommy!), each of us has a unique writing style.
It is the way a writer writes, and varies from writer to writer generally, and depends upon word choice, tone, structure, syntax and more.
While writers may have a different “voice” as they write different works, there is often a recognizable element of that voice that makes the reader go – “yes, I know this writer!”
“The style of an author should be the image of his mind, but the choice and command of language is the fruit of exercise.” – Edward Gibbon
What Makes Your Voice Yours?
Your personality, your passion, your cultural influences, both the nature and nurture parts of you, your values and beliefs, your family and friends, and all those zillion minutiae that make you you: all of this make an impact on your writing. They all meld together to become your voice.
And when you write with that voice all your own, something about your passions and culture and family and all that etc, will be revealed to the reader; even when you are writing about writing styles!
Sometimes, those quirks of yours might not come through in that written voice. Maybe you deliver weird, kind of sarcastic, humorous quips to your teens each day and they roll their eyes every so often while laughing silently at the same time (after all, they don’t want to encourage mom!); but when you attempt to put that on paper, that humor seems to snidely snicker at you and goes into hiding.
“It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.”
—Jack Kerouac, WD
Your Writing Habits
The Forever Researcher
Maybe you tend to research when you sit down to write something, and find something oh-so-interesting during your research that you have to read that. After all, it is going to help you in your writing. (Kind of like I did here, and hence ended up posting it towards the end of the day instead of much earlier as I had thought to!!).
That Sticky-Notes, Index-Card, or … Note Taker
Or do you take notes on and off, maintain all those notes in an elaborate system all you, and then decide you have enough to write one fine day. That system could be tons of sticky-notes (not me, since my DH would just end up putting the away during a cleaning spree, which is often; and why would he retain notes that said something like “The written word can sometimes be misconstrued”!)
Note: I take notes often as well with that lofty end in mind; but tend to be a bit helter-skeltery about where I maintain them, so…
Time and How Much You Write
Maybe you procrastinate and have no set schedule (sounds a bit like me) or set a specific time aside and write only during that time; or maybe you write in one fell swoop or you do your writing in bits and pieces throughout the day.
And it might not matter even if you procrastinate since you have a plan in place and will finish up what you planned to for the day, no matter what; even if you wake up grumpy the next day and your kids wonder if that goo is breakfast or simply goo! And you did not wake up grumpy but stayed up all night to finish what you had to.
But maybe you are that person who knows you will be done with x number of words by 11 am each day (oh, was I like that someday in the distant past? Sounds like an older, well younger version of me indeed and hope I can move away from the current procrastinator me to this one or a semblance at least soon enough)
Focus and You
You are an adept multi-tasker who can write while catching up on The Good Place or The Umbrella Academy with your teens or Alfred Hitchcock Presents with your DH or maybe rewatching Gilmore Girls by yourself; or you might need that perfect setup (time, place, space, free of distractions and such) to work. Note that I do watch those shows and I do attempt to do my writing while watching them; but multi-tasking, nah! That simply is a myth!!
You and Your Writing
Do you rewrite and edit and polish, and do it all over again; or consider it done when you reach the last word the very first time? As for me, let me reveal what I do about this. It depends – on what I am doing it for, and how much time I have!!
And what about all those typos as you type? Or maybe you are the kind who writes using paper and pen (I do that sometimes depending on where I am. I always do have a notebook and pen with me just in case I am somewhere without a laptop and stuck with nothing to do; and I so hate typing on my phone, you see)?
Getting back to those typos, do you correct as you go along or leave them for later? I tend to correct them despite being told in multiple writing classes that you need to let your ideas flow and let that free-writing thing happen. But then, the best ideas tend to occur to me when I am taking a shower or driving or in my dreams!!! So what can I do about it?? At least if I happen to be driving and there is someone in the car with me I have shocked them by asking them to quickly make a note of that out-of-the-blue idea. And the moment I voice it out loud, it sounds ridiculouser (totally made up that word now!)
“Proper words in proper places, make the true definition of style.” – Jonathan Swift
And if you know those different types of writing they teach, then yes, that is part of the writing style too. Based on what you intend to convey, your writing style reveals a different aspect of you.
That is, if it is
where you simply impart information, that is not really a place your voice shines through much as it is mostly the relaying of facts about any topic. This type of writing includes textbooks, how-to articles, business & technical writing, and more. But I have read a couple of textbooks where the writers insert a bit of themselves into it, and it was always delightful! Like finding a five-dollar bill you had hidden between the pages of a book and forgotten about it; or like that candy you had saved for later in your purse.
where the writer is telling a story. Of course, this style of writing will impact your voice and your style based on the story you are telling. I know that I will lend a different part of me if I choose to write a fantasy for middle-graders versus a historical fiction for adults.
you can let loose those metaphors and similes, those numerous words you wanted to use to describe that first time you took a bit of the most heavenly cheesecake, or write exactly how that web looked – glistening with the morning dew as you watched the spider crawl along it in fascination!
the kind of writing you will use in academic papers, then again, you have to, well, learn that subtle art of persuasion and communicate through your writing. Even if you think you have not done this, note that this includes those cover letters you must have written. I do my share of persuasive writing with those reviews of books I love.
“Style is that which indicates how the writer takes himself and what he is saying. It is the mind skating circles around itself as it moves forward.” – Robert Frost
What Does Your Writing Style Reveal About You
It is clear that your writing style can reveal a lot about you. So I ask you, what does your style say about you? And if you are in the mood for quizzes, then you can check these out. Note these are pure fun!
- What is Your Writing Style? at TryInteract
- Which Type of Writer Are You? at OpinionStage
- What Kind of Writer Are You? at PlayBuzz
- What Style of Writing is Best for You? at AllTheTests
And then, there is this really cool program developed by IBM Watson, that will not only provide you with a brief personality summary, with cool graphs and such, but also the science behind the analysis. While I got various results based on the input text I supplied, it was certainly something I enjoyed doing. You can try it out here:
And I totally loved this post about writing styles over at DappledThings
What Did These Reveal About Me?
Just for fun, I included some of the random results from these tests I took. What do you think? Was it anywhere near accurate about me?
Your natural writing talent is as a novelist. You are a born storyteller and have a fertile imagination. A good way to develop your talent is by creating mini stories and learning how to develop a compelling plot.
For 40% you are: Because you are a curious intellectual, I think you should write NOIR. Noir is more commonly known as classic crime, like Sherlock Holmes. You have the power to make readers hungry for the answer to the puzzle- which is cool, because you have all the answers! (hahaha) Profile B
Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, your strength lies in the ability to channel your life experiences, or those of others into your writing. You learn from memorable events, which adds richness to your writing and the lives of your characters.