It’s been a while, but welcome back to Creative Write with Me! In this sixth and penultimate installment, we’ll be talking about writing styles. There are four main types of writing styles and I’ll be going over them in two ways. First, in a broad sense that will apply to all writing, and then we’ll look at them in the context of creative writing.
As they are in no order, I’ll start with expository writing. This is informative writing that we see mostly in textbooks or recipes in a cookbook. This style of writing gives the reader facts with no opinions or biases from the writer. Scientific papers fit into this category as well.
Narrative writing tells a story. Fiction, non-fiction, and genre fiction are all prominent examples of this. This type of writing has a plot, characters, settings, and all the other elements that I talk about in this Creative Write with Me series.
Persuasive writing is an interesting style and one that most of us encounter and learn to use in grade school. Most essays, like argumentative essays, fit into this category, but the writing I wish to talk most about in this section is reviews. Specifically, book reviews. Persuasive writing is what the author uses when they want you to believe something. They present evidence and back up that evidence with primary sources of information. This is the main essay type I wrote in university. I chose a thesis, which is the focal point of an essay or paper, then spent the rest of the essay arguing that point to the reader using examples from the texts and information from other outside sources. I use the same style when I’m writing book reviews. When I choose a book to review, I am choosing to argue to you that this book is worth reading. I tell you the pros and cons of my reading experience, hoping you look at my experience and deem the book worthy (or unworthy) of picking up. Someone amazing at persuasive writing can get you to read a terrible book and even sway your opinion while you’re reading to make you believe that this terrible book might have some good somewhere. These are the salespeople that can sell anyone anything as well.
Finally, the descriptive style of writing encapsulates poetry, fictional novels, and fictional short stories. This one is self-explanatory. The author is describing something they want the reader to know about. A room, a person, a landscape, a view. This is what people mean when they talk about words painting a picture.
Now we can talk about these in the creative context. In my understanding, three have a place in creative writing while persuasive writing stays in the realm of academic writing, mostly.
When writing creatively, it’s necessary to use the other three. Narrative writing gives us the story itself, with all the characters and settings. This makes up the backbone of every creative writing piece. If we add in exposition, we get the world-building, story-building, and the other informational parts of the story that help us understand the characters and world apart from the events. After that, we add descriptive style writing and reach a fully rounded story. Now you can describe the people, places, and things that move around in your world and help to drive the story. Most writers use all of these styles without even thinking about it, intertwining them in beautiful ways to create the stories that we love. As a side note, perhaps persuasive style writing is a key part of writing dialogue between characters, especially when characters are arguing. I would agree with this.
That’s about all I have to say about the style. I have a plan of how to show all these elements of fiction in a set of posts in the next few months, with examples in stories that I’ve written to help with understanding. There’s only one more of these left in this series, and it will be out during May! It will talk about Theme–arguably the most difficult of all the elements of fiction to grasp.
Thank you for tuning in! See you next time!
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