1. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    un-original writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by colorthemap, Jul 27, 2011.

    My writing is not that original. My narration is like King, my commentary is like Rowling. My dialog is like Hinton. etc etc etc (my plot too but that is not the point)

    How can I make my writing style more original, or is that(this) not too much to worry about.
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I think the key is to be watchful for anything that you see as being imitative, and then try to substitute your own voice. I used to find myself writing in "Michener-esque" fashion because I enjoyed his work so much, but I found my own style. So will you.
     
  3. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Or maybe the clash of the the styles is my style.
     
  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Your style should be your style, not anyone else's.
     
  5. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, but still we are all influenced by other writers.

    I think you develop your own 'style' over time, but it may always have elements you've picked up along the way. Not really anything wrong with that...
     
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  6. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've never thought about whom my writing style resembles, and I don't think it'd make any difference if I found out.
     
  7. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    I haven't seen any of your writing yet. I would have to see how your writing style is to declare if it is similar to others or not.
     
  8. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's not entirely wrong getting influenced by other weriters, as long as it is a natural process, and you don't force it but it is something that comes naturally.
     
  9. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    We're all inspired by other writers when we do our own writing. At first we may resemble other authors in our writing. Over time though I think our own style comes out through the shadow of other writers.
    Give it time and you may find that your own true style lies in wait.
     
  10. another wasted day
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    another wasted day Member

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    I'm almost sure that the authors you think you're copying have copied parts of their style from someone else that came before. I don't know that style is something entirely original - you're always going to have elements from other writing you've read. It's unavoidable in some ways.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    one way to overcome that is to force yourself to write only as you would speak to others in normal conversations... eventually, that should evolve into a 'creative voice' of your own...
     
  12. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    I see nothing wrong with imitating all the good parts of authors you have liked and blending them into your own style. In fact, I would guess that this is probably normal. These authors have been successful for a reason. If it makes your writing better, go for it. Of course, I am not referring to plagiarism, that's a different issue.

    I myself have recently been influenced by the late Stiegg Larson, and his matter of fact style of delivering a story. You can tell by the way he writes that he actually worked for a newspaper and was big into research. Of course I am referring to the "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" series. It seems a tragedy to me that he died shortly after delivering his manuscripts for the trilogy.
     
  13. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    It's one thing to borrow a technique you've seen an author use well. I think we've all done that at one time or another. But that's not what the OP said. It was much more that the entire style of narration is taken from one writer, the entire style of dialogue is taken from another, etc. Moreover, my impression was that this borrowing of styles seemed to be unconscious, as the OP mentioned it as something (s)he had discovered.

    Such unconscious mimicry is not uncommon among very young or very inexperienced writers, but if one is serious about becoming a writer (and I assumed that the OP is, since (s)he is asking for help correcting it), then one works to develop one's own voice.
     
  14. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    I should've said it was similar, for example like Hinton I use many filler words, like "sure and um" which I wonder if I did before.
     
  15. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    Imitation is a step toward growth. The key is to not stay there.

    My first poems were modeled after Emily Dickinson. (Including lots of dashes and metered rhythm.) I didn't randomly capitalize, however. I learned from Emily that a single word can convey something greater than myself, such as "Immortality" or "Tear." I don't think that learning from her ever has to go away. Instead, I just ditched the corny rhythms and the dashes!
     
  16. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    So what you are basically saying is; your writing isn't quite like King, nor quite like Rowling, nor quite like Hinton? To me, this sounds like a pretty good start. My advice to you would be to keep reading and keep writing, and don't worry too much about this.

    The reason your writing reminds you of other people is because you are absorbing their styles and assimilating them to your own. There's nothing wrong with that, because that is how we learn to write in the first place. We read and absorb and find out what we like and what we don't like. The mere fact that you describe your work as similar to three different writers is proof of that.

    If you just keep this up, originality happens on its own, but it's a matter of refinement. You need more influence, not less. You can only develop your own style by writing what you enjoy, which necessarily means mimiking the writers you enjoy reading.
     
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  17. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Just need to read more than I guess, as well as write.
     
  18. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    This.

    That said, I liken it to guitar playing (which I've been doing for a good long while now) and that guitar players can be heavily influenced and that pervades their playing. Why wouldn't it be ok for writers to carry an influence?

    Not unlike guitar playing, the more you do it the more you gain your own voice. You have to start somewhere and the skills you've observed in the writings of others only stands to create structures you can use to build your own style upon.

    A 'style' doesn't drop out of the sky but develops. Some people get it quickly and some take time. It will come.

    I think I've gained my own voice recently and when I read my stuff I don't get the 'ugh'...at least about the 'voice'....typos and run on sentences...well....

    Just write about what interests you and it will come. I would suggest to write not only fiction but blog/write stuff about a subject you like in a non-fiction setting. You use your own voice to do it and it seemed to me that doing so helped me when I started to pick up creative writing again.
     
  19. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are far too many authors in the the world for you to create a writing style that is unique only to you. Invariably, your writing mannerisms will mirror someone else's out there. You might never have even heard of them. So why even bother to be unique?

    If you can write young adult books like J.K. Rowling then that's excellent. That's quite an achievement I must say. If you can write with a voice similar to the one that captured millions of readers, then why not use it?

    Note that we're talking about writing style not plot concepts. If your story ideas are constantly overlapping those of the writing greats then that's a big problem. But as far as a literary voice goes, I personally wouldn't care who I wrote like. In fact if somebody said my manner of writing is akin to George R.R. Martin I might be rather flattered.
     
  20. thalorin19
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    thalorin19 Member

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    I found myself in a similar situation once like yourself and occasionally still do.

    My advice, like everyone else's, would to keep on writing until one day you strike your prose that you feel comfortable with.

    But also, try reading other authors you haven't read before. At one point I was reading two authors and noticed one day that I was writing a lot like they did. So for the next couple of books I read all different authors. You can take little things from everyone you read and eventually mash them up into your comfortable prose.
     
  21. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Bear with me here as I go into a brief biography of my drawing history.

    I'm 12 years old and love to draw comics, monsters and such. However, I could only draw stickmen, and they weren't very good anyway. So one day, my friend taught me how to draw stickmen. Then he told me to develop my own stickman style.

    I ended up with one guy's backpack idea, one guy's gun style, one guy's facial expression style... but my legs and helmets(most of the stuff I drew were soldiers with backpacks) were original, and some people even copied it.

    The point is, your style consists of the style of everybody else plus a splash of yourself.
     
  22. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    That was a very wise reflection!
    And you're 12 years old??? :eek:
     

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