I’ve been reading Laini Taylor’s fantastic DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE. It’s a delicious novel full of everything a reader/writer loves—well-developed characters, a fully imagined world, and rich, beautiful language. I adore this book and I'm only a few chapters in. If I weren’t under
deadline, I would have already finished it. It’s that good.
But reading it got me thinking about style. See, I tend to analyze what I read, especially if I love a novel, in hopes of learning a thing or two from those that I admire. I’ve been told my writing reads slightly lyrical, and while I would describe Laini’s writing as lyrical, I recognize immediately that our styles are very different. (Now, let’s take out of the equation that Laini Taylor may be a genius and I certainly am not.) She has sentences that are as long as some of my paragraphs. But it works for her, and it works for this novel.
And I think that’s the point. As writers, we have to find our own style and our own way of conveying our story. We can’t simply copy or mimic the style of others. It’s obvious when writers do this, and I think it makes for an unnatural read.
So, how do we find our style? We write. And read. And write some more. Before you know it, your style will become very obvious to you. It’s easier to write in your own personal style than to try to adhere to that of others.
Have you found your style? I hope so. It’s a wonderful thing—embrace it.