1. Faizan Samiullah
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    Faizan Samiullah New Member

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    How Can I Learn American Writing Styles?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Faizan Samiullah, Jun 3, 2013.

    Hey all,

    I am a newbie in this forum. I am a content writer and good at english writing, but I want to learn american writing styles. Kindly give me some ideas.

    Regards,

    Faizan Samiullah
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Read many books published for an American readership.
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The best way to learn American writing styles is to read American writers. Start with Mark Twain, then move on to any of the following whose writing grabs you: Edgar Allan Poe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, O. Henry, Upton Sinclair, William Faulkner, James Thurber, John Knowles, Daphne DuMaurier, Herman Wouk, James A. Michener, Leon Uris, Ralph Ellison, Tennessee Williams, Jack London, Flannery O'Connor, Sylvia Plath, Katherine Anne Porter, Upton Sinclair, Studs Terkel, Joyce Carol Oates, Harper Lee, Tom Clancy, Allan Drury, Eugene O'Neal, Toni Morrison.

    Not all of these are the "best" writers, but they all represent a portion of a distinctly American voice.

    Good luck, and good reading.
     
  4. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    And Then Read:

    Ross MacDonald
    James Lee Burke
    Raymond Chandler
    John Steinbeck
    Sumuel Delany
    Dennis Lehane
    Frank Herbert
    James Crumley
    Ray Bradbury
    Octavia Bulter
    Ed McBain
    Tony Hillerman
    Robert Stone
    Anne Lamott
    Elmore Leonard
    Neal Stephenson
    George Pelecanos
    Robert Heinlein
    James W. Hall
    Philip K Dick
    Dean Koontz
    Alice Walker
    Randy Wayne White
    Robert Crais
    James M. Cain
    William Burroughs
    Thomas Harris
    John MacDonald
    Stephen King

    …umm…my brain gave out.

    *edit: And Ed...Daphne DuMaurier was British.
    Though I love Rebecca.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    My heart skipped a beat. I love her work.
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    My bad.
     
  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You should also pay close attention to the dialects used because there are regional differences between American writers. For example, Faulkner's narrators/characters speak differently than Steinbeck's narrators/characters.
     
  8. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    And the grand master of American dialogue is Elmore Leonard. Very few writers care to tackle 6 or 7 characters arguing at once, not to mention doing so when each character speaks with a different ascent and are from different economic and social backgrounds. Boy...that would have taken me months to work out.
     
  9. ProsonicLive
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    ProsonicLive Senior Member

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    Not something that you should pa A LOT of attention to, but learn how Americans describe other accents. also be mindful of cultural differences in America and recreate them accurately. Not all Texans are dumb, uneducated, racist and speak like "Hey Y'all! wlcom t' Texas!" Nor are they technologically inept. Northerners do not all cut every word in half. Not all Californians are Liberals that hate all things NOT Californian. There are actually SOME nice folks in New York city. Houston IS the smoggiest city in America. Using NO slang, EVER, can make some people jump to the conclusion that you seem arrogant (unless you are not American). If you are not from a region, say for example, the south, do not try to speak with that regions accent, they could think you are mocking them, It is well understood to almost all other countries around the globe that an American is a
    Yankee, or to Brits and Aussies, "Yanks" most southerners have not yet embraced this idea and is not appropriate unless you are writing a piece set in the civil war, or you enjoy your reader making a strange face and saying "hu?" Stereotypes in general are frowned upon. as in all things, there is more than one side to any story. Do not make your antagonist Uber evil or protagonist over paragon, black and white stories are for fairy tales. But I am stepping passed my bounds and getting away from the subject. I apologize. good luck.
     
  10. Isaiah JS
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    Isaiah JS Member

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    Depends on what you mean by American style. Authors from America employ an endless variety of styles (for example, Fitzgerald and Hemmingway are almost opposites, yet both regarded as great American writers). I think your time would be better spent learning about style and voice in general, as opposed to trying to find a particularly "American" style.

    If you want dialogue, then it's best to live in the country if you can. If not, then try to read some modern authors, particularly with teenage characters (although some others do a bad job of writing teenagers).
     
  11. ProsonicLive
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    ProsonicLive Senior Member

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    I apologize again, It seems that you are talking about famous American Lit, so my advice in this issue is not really applicable.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what do you mean by that term?... are you asking about 'american styles' in writing fiction?

    or are you referriing to the professional term that relates to writing 'content' for websites, media production, advertising, etc.?

    if, as i suspect, you mean the latter, then reading american fiction won't really help [though it's good for a basic foundation in writing fiction] and the best way to learn 'american writing styles' for 'content' is to study american examples of content writing in the field/s in which you hope to attract american clients...

    i've done a lot of this in various fields, so if you want a mentor to help you along the way, i'm always only a mouse click away...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  13. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know, that pretty much describes most Texans I've met :D
     
  14. Faizan Samiullah
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    Faizan Samiullah New Member

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    Yes, you are right. I write content for websites.
     
  15. Faizan Samiullah
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    Faizan Samiullah New Member

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    Yes I write content for websites. Thanks for your idea.
     
  16. Faizan Samiullah
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    Faizan Samiullah New Member

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    Hey all,

    I am thankful to you all for giving me such great ideas.

    Regards,
    Faizan Samiullah
     

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