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How to Be a Writer (Step Three: Identify Your Writing Style)

April 09, 2024 (Last Updated May 01, 2024)

Marcy G.

We return to our “How to Be a Writer” series with the subject of writing styles. Identifying your writing style is important because you want to have your own unique voice. Writing styles can overlap, and writers often blend elements from multiple styles depending on their purpose and audience. Additionally, individual writers may develop their own unique style characterized by their voice, tone, and stylistic preferences.

Writing styles can vary greatly depending on the content, purpose, and audience. We will be focusing on some common writing styles and how to identify yours!


Common Writing Styles


This style focuses on painting a vivid picture through detailed descriptions, appealing to the senses to evoke imagery in the reader's mind. This type of writing especially comes into play when describing settings and characters. Think of world-building and how to write in a way in which the reader feels like they are there, getting to know the characters and locations.



Narrative writing tells a story, often employing elements such as characters, plot, setting, and dialogue to engage the reader. Narrative writing is also dependent on the writer’s tone of voice and overall flow of writing.



Creative writing encompasses a wide range of styles, including poetry and fiction, allowing for artistic expression and imagination. Creative writing is the freest style of writing out of this group, and one of the most popular. When establishing your own writing style, identify the creative choices you are making and how you can develop those choices into a throughline present throughout your novel or series.



Expository writing is informative in nature, presenting facts, explanations, and analysis on a particular topic in a clear and concise manner.



Persuasive writing aims to convince the reader of a particular viewpoint or argument, often utilizing logic, evidence, and emotional appeal. While persuasive writing can be used in a any number of writing avenues, journalistic and academic writing can all be used in tandem to present facts and argue points to persuade the reader of your point of view.



Like persuasive writing, argumentative writing presents a thesis or claim and supports it with evidence and reasoning, often engaging with counterarguments.



Journalistic writing aims to inform readers about current events or issues, presenting facts and information in a clear and objective manner.



Academic writing adheres to specific conventions and standards, often involving research, critical analysis, and citation of sources in disciplines such as literature, history, or sociology.



Analytical writing involves breaking down complex ideas or concepts, examining their components, and providing insight or evaluation. Some examples of this type of writing could include medical texts, business writing, or any book simply presenting information to gain insight on a particular subject.



Technical writing communicates specialized information in fields such as science, engineering, or technology, often using precise language and specific terminology.


Identifying Your Writing Style


To help identify your personal writing style, it’s important to take notice of specific patterns, preferences, and tendencies in your writing. Here are some steps to help you pinpoint your writing style:

Reflect on Your Writing

Take some time to review your past writing samples across different genres and topics. Look for recurring themes, tones, and techniques and pay attention to aspects like sentence structure, word choice, and overall tone of voice.


Consider Your Intentions

Think about why you write and what you hope to achieve with your writing. Are you aiming to entertain, inform, persuade, or express yourself creatively? Your intentions can influence both style and tone.


Analyze Feedback

If you've received feedback on your writing from peers, instructors, or editors, consider their comments regarding your style. Are there specific characteristics or strengths they've highlighted consistently?


Explore Different Styles

Experiment with different writing styles and genres to see which ones feel most natural and resonate with you. Try writing in various formats, such as fiction, poetry, essays, or journalistic pieces, and notice which styles you gravitate toward. Start your day with a writing prompt and see where it takes you!


Identify Key Elements

Pay attention to specific elements of your writing style, such as:

  • Tone: Is your writing formal, informal, conversational, academic, humorous, or serious?
  • Voice: Do you have a distinct voice that comes through in your writing? Is it authoritative, empathetic, lyrical, or personal?
  • Structure: How do you organize your ideas and paragraphs? Are you drawn to linear narratives, descriptive passages, or analytical frameworks?
  • Language: What is your vocabulary like? Do you prefer simple, straightforward language, or do you enjoy using rich imagery and complex sentences?
  • Rhetorical Devices: Do you tend to use certain rhetorical devices or literary techniques, such as metaphor, simile, alliteration, or parallelism?
  • Seek External Perspectives: Ask trusted friends, colleagues, or mentors to provide feedback on your writing style. They may offer insights or observations that you hadn't considered.

As you become more aware of your writing style, continue to refine it. Experiment with new techniques, challenge yourself to write in different styles, and be open to evolving as a writer. Your writing style is not static and may evolve over time as you gain experience, receive feedback, and explore new genres and forms of expression. Embrace your unique voice and style and allow yourself the freedom to experiment and grow as a writer!

Once you’re ready to print your book, contact us! We’re ready to help you on your self-publishing journey.



Other Blogs in This Series:

How to Be a Writer (Step One: Believe You Can Do It!)

How to Be a Writer (Step Two: Daily Writing Habits)

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