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Thread: What's your style?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Default What's your style?

    Everyone writes a bit differently, from the kind of vocabulary they use to how long they make their paragraphs. How would you describe your prose style? Do you love crafting the perfect descriptive passage or have the most fun when you've got your favorite characters together for a dialogue-heavy scene? Are you mostly satisfied with your style, or is there something you wish you could change about it?

    Personally, I lean heavily on verbs to carry my sentences, and I think that's one of the most distinctive aspects of my prose. I write a lot of action scenes, so I need strong verbs to keep things rolling along. I also pay a lot of attention to the rhythm of my sentences and try to construct them so that they speed up or slow down the narrative to a pace that I think is appropriate for the current scene. On the other hand, I don't use a lot of environmental or character description--I prefer to do as much through action as possible.

    If you haven't encountered them before, there are also some online tools that can give you a fun analysis of your prose, like "I Write Like", which reports which famous author it thinks your writing is most similar to (Cory Doctorow for me), or this algorithm that assigns various personality traits to you based on a sample of your writing. It decided extraversion was my most defining trait, though, so I consider it pretty suspect.

    In which an undead trainer, a bloodthirsty super-clone, and an irascible ex-Rocket grunt set out to rescue an imprisoned Mew--if they don't end up murdering each other first.

    Banner by Sworn Metalhead of Dćdric Design

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006


    I have honestly no idea what my style is. People say I have a certain style, but I don't see it - or, at least, I can't put it into words. I've been trying to figure out what my style is. I'm not an English major in university or anything, so my prose isn't excessively flowery and I don't use particularly complex framing techniques. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing myself a disservice by not being more showy with my narrative. I typically just get right to the point of what I want to tell. I do sometimes use complex words if they're right for the scene or description. I like writing about different characters, so I usually do 3rd person omniscient to be able to jump from one group to another, but while still holding back secrets here and there. I have a fair amount of dialogue scenes because I like when characters interact. My works are usually pretty character-driven, so I often try to focus on body language and character voice to help bring out a character's personality. I guess I'm fairly descriptive in fight scenes since I always have to choreograph them in my head. Uhh... What else? I don't know.
    Claimed: Grovyle - November 10th, 2013

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    The bottom of a lake


    Apparently, I write like H.P. Lovecraft, whose work I have never read but I have heard a bit about. Definitely not who I would have thought of...

    Anyway, my style used to at least be fairly descriptive. I enjoyed writing the setting and putting up the scenes more than anything else, and my vocabulary was flowery and elaborate. Apparently, I've toned it down recently, and I have noticed that I no longer write scenes out as much and people have told my that I've improved in that aspect of toning down my description.

    I find character scenes easiest to write, and I feel like I emphasize those in a lot of my chapters partly because I want to get across that nobody is just somebody, but that everyone is a person with their own hopes, dreams, problems, sufferings, joys, sorrows--no matter how little of them we see, they're there. I try to do it to help humanize my characters and make anything happen to them have a greater impact. And oddly enough, I used to hate writing dialogue the most and barely included it if I could help it. It may still not be my favorite thing, but I'm definitely much more comfortable writing it.

    That said, I do wish to improve on my character scenes since I feel like I drag or dwell on things that don't need to be, and I want to make my action scenes more urgent and just overall better, though someone pointed out that lately they've been good.

    My fic, Drowning.
    Cye of the Torrent is my bishie.
    Credit to Sketchie of Coronet Designs

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    I try to write like the losing text of a Youngster if at all possible. I usually have different styles for my different characters. If anything, I err towards being too bookish. My goal (some of the time) is to write as though the narrator doesn't really know how to write fiction, they're just telling what happened to them.

    For battles I have got into the habit of hyper-compression. I mean that the actions are condensed down not in time but in the literal no. of words they're told in. It actually makes the passage longer and harder to read; it's like a complicated motion that the pokemon managed to comprehend with their bodies, but if you as the trainer happened to see it going down, you would take a second of processing after the fact before you realized what had happened. Experientially I think pokemon battles probably have a huge deal of mental overload in a very short time, like competitive calculus exams.

    For Riesa I have the very specific quirk of a misplaced comma. I take the comma out of the part of the sentence where it's needed, and put it in the weak point of the rhythm. If this is done with some inspiration, her voice sounds........ realllllllly pretty.....
    Last edited by Praxiteles; 25th May 2015 at 5:53 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Back among the living


    I may have touched on this elsewhere already, but I consider my writing style something of a work in progress. I used to have a major problem with overlong paragraphs and unnecessary detail bloat which made my writing a bit of a slog for others to get into, so I've actually been making a conscious effort to shift my writing in a different direction. The goal I'm striving for at present is to convey the same sense of scope and detail that my really really wordy writing had, but doing so with a greatly diminished word count. It's a tricky balance to get right for me, especially making the call between what is an important passage for mood or character voice and what is unnecessary and I don't think I have it quite down just yet. Call it a transitional phase for now I suppose.

    That being said, the part I enjoy the most and that really informs everything else I do fic-wise is crafting distinctive voices and identities for all my characters. There is nothing quite as satisfying for me as writing a certain character or narrative point of view and getting that sense of knowing not only where I'm going with it but exactly how I'm going to express it as well, when a character's personality bleeds out from just the things they say and into small personal details like tiny shifts of expression and little mannerisms they engage in subconsciously. That's the sort of thing I love to focus on in my writing, so I love it when it all comes together for a character. In a way, I like to think of the setting itself as a character as well, so I'll often try to work out different quirks of local customs and conventions as I make them. Add that all together and you can probably deduce where my wordiness problem comes from. So yeah, I guess the most defining trait of my writing that I can think of is that the characters are the heart of the story and everything else is shaped through them. Narration with varying degrees of bias usually follows from this, and I particularly enjoy the free indirect style (presenting a character's thoughts and biases through narration without explicitly flagging them as the character's thoughts). Beyond that, I couldn't tell you really.

    With regards to the tests, I always did enjoy this self-analysis quiz stuff but I also tend to get quite conflicting results out of it, so for accuracy's sake I've run pairs of passages from my writing (one pair of forum posts, one pair of reviews, one pair of me writing fiction) through both tests to see if I can fish out some recurring patterns.

    Based off my review for Flying in the Dark

        Spoiler:- I write like:

        Spoiler:- Personality analysis:

    Based off my review for A Hundred Tries

        Spoiler:- I write like:

        Spoiler:- Personality analysis:

    Based off a recently written RP post

        Spoiler:- I write like:

        Spoiler:- Writing analysis:

    Based off another character's perspective within that same post:

        Spoiler:- I write like:

        Spoiler:- Writing analysis:

    Based off a post I made on another topic in the café

        Spoiler:- I write like:

        Spoiler:- Writing analysis:

    Based off this post right here

        Spoiler:- I write like:

        Spoiler:- Personality analysis:

    So yeah, there's a fair bit of inconsistent flip-flopping, especially with the personality analysis. The Writer test just can't make its mind up when I present a piece of writing where I'm writing from a point of view other than my own, which did kind of tickle me considering that it was very consistent with pegging me as H.P. Lovecraft for all four of my forum posts. Whether that's indicative of me being good at getting a different voice through in my writing or of my fiction writing style being rather inconsistent though, I couldn't tell you, but I tried out a couple of additional snippets of my writing on it and it gave me a different author for each one.

    Personality test consistently gave me empathetic as a secondary trait and told me that I prefer making my own path, but I strongly suspect that that's what it tells most people because it's a personality test and everyone likes to think of themselves as empathetic and independent-minded so big grain of salt on that one. It's pretty scattershot on everything else, and gave me even more scattered responses with the few extras I tried so I don't put a whole lot of stock in it. Fun thing to do for giggles though.
    Last edited by Creepychu; 25th May 2015 at 1:33 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    What happens when you take a 42-chapter fic written over the course of ten years and put it through I Write Like one chapter at a time? Let's find out!

        Spoiler:- Communication chapter results:

    How accurate any of that is, I can't say. I've only ever read maybe three of those authors at the most, and not recently.

    For you-know-whats and giggles, let's throw in the rest of my pokéstuff, too:

        Spoiler:- Everything else:

    Again, can't say how accurate this is or isn't.

    Okay, now for that other site. I'll only run a few chapters through this one. Let's see how well it guesses my mindset at the time(s) that I wrote these.

        Spoiler:- Personality Insights Demonstration:

    Not really sure what to say about those results apart from the following:

    1. this site overestimates the heck out of my extraversion
    2. meanwhile it's pretty much right on the money where tradition and success are concerned
    3. the "you have a hard time sticking with difficult tasks for a long period of time" comment, being attached to a chapter which I spent actual years writing, is making me laugh my *** off

    Now I'm sitting here trying to decide how I'd personally describe my style and... drawing a blank, for the most part. I think the only conscious change I've been trying to make to my style is that I've been trying to make it more... assertive, I guess? More things being rather than seeming. Fewer keystrokes devoted to needlessly assuring readers that no no, this is just the characters' opinions and perceptions and not a declaration of the way I personally Believe Things Are. Have I succeeded? Dunno. Maybe to some extent. I know I've edited a lot of hemming and hawing out of old work, and I know the prickling worry I used to have that things would be misread is gone altogether. It's a start, if nothing else.
    (Or do. I don't actually mind.)
    The Origin of Storms | Communication

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    In the cardboard box in front


    I'm... not really sure how to describe my writing style, haha. It usually varies from story to story since I've lately been writing a lot of one shots. My creative writing professor that I had last fall told me I was pretty good at dialogue, so I guess I focus a bit on that? I know I have an awful habit of overdescribing things too. I'm really just pulling things from critiques I've been given by other people, so yeah. Not 100% sure what all I should say to describe my writing style because I don't really know how to.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013


    This is cool! I'll do both, see what comes up.

        Spoiler:- I Write Like:

    Asimov and Adams are awesome, as I love their stuff, but I've never even heard of Cory Doctorow before, so,, I guess?

    As for a specific style, I've always felt that I like to write in a very personal style. By personal, I mean that the inner thoughts of the characters are just as important as the ones they express. That way, backstory makes more sense when it's introduced, as it fits the character. If you want a really good example of this in any medium, the newest Mad Max does this exceedingly well. (Guess that's why I love the movie so much.)
    Pokémon: Convergence

    "Dimension-hopping shenanigans." Need I say more?

    Next Chapter: Chapter 5


    Mother of the Cave

    One-shot about an aggron watching over her den...until poachers appear and screw everything up.

    Next Chapter: N/A

    I'm still taking criticism for this story.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    The multiverse



        Spoiler:- Truth:

        Spoiler:- Crater Dreams:

        Spoiler:- Caging Destruction:

    I dunno who any of those authors are. And the personality thing seems assured I don't embarrass easily when the opposite is the case. "Your choices are driven by a desire for well-being" and "Your choices are driven by a desire for self-expression" are pretty accurate, though.

    As for how I'd sum up my writing style? Dialouge-heavy and heavy focus on the fantastical elements of whatever universe I'm working with.
    Formerly known as InsaneTyranitar.

    Author's Profile

    Stories: Caging Destruction (Oneshot); Crater Dreams (Oneshot), Truth (Oneshot), Heroes After All (Coming this fall, probably)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sike Saner View Post
    The gnats have yet to offer any coherent input, for some reason.

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