Writing 101, Day Seventeen: Your Personality on the Page

What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. If you’re up for a twist, write this post in a style that’s different from your own.

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We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.

Today’s twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.

Earlier in Writing 101, both Michelle and I have talked about voice: that elusive element that sets you apart from every other writer out there. Style, however, is different. Your writing style might affect your voice, but ultimately style and voice aren’t the same thing.

While your voice is your own, and something that’s innately you, style is much broader. You might prefer long and complex sentences, or sentences with a lot of commas and layers building upon each other, or perhaps intentional run-ons and thoughts bleeding into the next and no pauses and lots of imagery and never-ending moments that run onto the next page.

Or, you might write short sentences. Fragments, even. Simple prose.

Think back to your assignment on sentence lengths. What kinds of sentences do you prefer, or find yourself writing naturally?

Style is the answer to everything.
A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing.
To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it.
To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art.

— Charles Bukowski

Novelist Raymond Chandler also called style the most durable thing in your writing — “a projection of personality, the product of emotion and perception.” While writers have their own styles, style can be mimicked — you can approach a piece intentionally to create a certain effect. (We once asked writers to write in Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo style — take a peek for inspiration.)

If you need a boost, consider these examples of style: Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las VegasErnest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants,” and Toni Morrison’s Beloved

Need a helping hand? Head to The Commons.

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  1. Hi fellow bloggers!!..
    Writing 101 interests me the most and i want to be a part of it. But I just started blogging and hv missed all the previous 17 prompts. Can i just jukp right in? Or do i wait for the next session and will there be a next session?
    Plz do reply.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome to follow along on the main page of assignments (we publish posts on weekdays at 7 AM EST):

      There are just a few more left in the course (day 20 is the final assignment). We may run Writing 101 again in the future — but not sure when — but when we do, you can sign up then.

      Otherwise, feel free to go at your own pace using the list of assignments, if you’d like.


    1. I really liked this post, it was…lighter? Took on a different way to accept the challenge. lol