For awhile, I’ve struggled to find my personal writing style, instead opting to edit my pieces to be more objective and neutral in tone while still delivering the point I intended to get across. I’m sure this is a result of the writing style taught in high school and college; such bland and pathetic assignments are part of the reason why I chose a different path, but that’s an entirely separate post.
My post yesterday on the London Riots was written when I was half-asleep from sleep deprivation and insomnia, an affliction I deal with frequently. In writing that post, I paid no heed to writing style, writing in more of a stream-of-consciousness, subjective form in which I gave my personality little to no filter. I allowed various levels of my sarcasm to show in my style for that post, and though my memory of yesterday is vague, I do remember having a much easier time writing that post than I would normally.
I have written academic essays, research reports, game reviews, editorials and news articles, and the common feature in all is a more serious, neutral writing style. I tend to leave my true, subjective opinions out, or soothe my tone with less scathing terminology. I believe, however, that I have found my personal writing style after so many years of dumbing myself down and castrating my words.
If you’re paying attention, you’ll see I did just that in the previous sentence.
While I will always strive to act professional in all my writings, I believe I censor myself far too strongly. My work does not resonate in my audience because it’s akin to reading a dictionary; the content is there, sure, but it’s bland and boring. My work won’t elicit a reaction from my audience if it reads, “The game’s third level, I feel, was far too dark yet gave off little suspense or fright. The music didn’t suit the action, and monsters were placed in obvious locations.” No, something more like, “The usage of little light in the game’s third level did nothing to frighten or scare me as the music made me feel like I was at a wedding reception in which the restaurant forgot to pay its electric bill. Likewise, the monsters were placed in such obvious locations that I very nearly flagged one down to ask when the first course would begin.”
Poor examples aside, the latter sentence causes more of a response when read. The facts and my opinion are still present, but the comparisons cause my words to resonate more with my audience. Such a style is also closer to my personality; I tend to be fairly sarcastic and deadpan in person, and it leads to me receiving more of a reaction than otherwise (though I could do without being punched in the face again, thanks).
I’m going to try writing with more of a personalized style in the future and see how I feel about it; obviously it’s not applicable in every circumstance and with as much lack of subtly as in my examples, but I think it’ll help strengthen me as a writer and, in turn, strengthen the pieces I write.