No Copy Cats Allowed: Create Your Own Writing Style
Updated: May 23, 2022
Writers love fellow writers, and anybody in the writing community knows how tightly knit our circle can be. We cheer on each other. Buy each other’s books. Leave those ever so important reviews. And above all else, we idolize them. Whether it’s Stephenie Meyer, Leigh Bardugo, Sabaa Tahir, or whoever it is that adds the fuel to your fire, one thing they all possess is UNIQUENESS! Not a single one of them is a copy of the next. Yet, they are all successful writers with a loyal following.
Writing fiction is no easy task. To become a great writer requires you to read a lot of other fiction authors. As you do so, you will naturally absorb styles. You’ll notice the writing styles, methods, characteristics, and even moods of writers. But what you don’t want to do is become a copy cat in your writings.
How do you do that?
Read. Read. Read. Not one novel, but a copious mountain of books. While reading inside your writing genre is great, you should also reach for books outside your comfort zone. Remember that book you strolled passed at the bookstore the other da? Go back and snag it! Discipline yourself to branch out from books that make you feel comfortable. I love urban fantasy (that’s why I write it!), but I also read historical fiction, romance, science fiction, contemporary, nonfiction, you name it. Why? Because reading is crucial to developing your writing and the best fiction authors out there read a variety of genres.
When you read other pieces you are essentially studying how writers craft their work. You will discover what you like, and most importantly, what you don’t like.
Write. Write. Write. If you want to get this writing thing down, you need to start writing every day. No questions asked, no exceptions made. Set aside time every day to write, even if it is only for half an hour. Spending a few hours on a Saturday writing is not as valuable as spending 30 minutes a day every day of the week. It rings even more true if you are just getting started. Writing isn’t easy, and finding your voice is one of the hardest things for an author to discover.
The point made here is repetition — developing a discipline of showing up and making writing a priority will put you on the path to discovering your voice. And when it happens, it will be so natural you most likely will not even realize it.
Moral of the story – B E YOU, BE YOU, BE YOU. Did I mention BE YOU? To succeed, be yourself, not another writer. Get out there and make some noise! Squeal those tires. Tear up the track. You’ve got this!