I wonder if writers know what their writing style is, even as they write. Could they identify their style themselves, describe it to someone? I know I don’t have a writing style (or maybe I do and I just don’t see it as anything but amateur and rough), but I do want to emulate some other writers.
Haruki Murakami for one. He’s my favourite author. But I couldn’t describe his style to you. It’s a little matter-of-fact, a little humorous, a little…it is what it is. Real and surreal. With this themes too. The mythical/fantastical life that mingles with the norm is just there, where you as a reader don’t get an explanation as to why or how, but have to live it with the characters who know just as little as you! Are you confused? So is everyone else haha.
Stephen King is kinda like that too. Where he says what he wants, what he means, and it may be harsh, it may be uncomfortable, but that’s life ain’t it? I have an audio book of him reading his own works (Blood and Smoke, if you want to hear it, it’s a collection of stories), and hearing how the author reads it- how he meant for it to be read, was perfection, and I strive for that. I even quote from it sometimes, at the oddest moments.
“That’s not a real plum- that’s a plastic plum.”
I guess what I’m getting at is how do you mold a style? How do you begin to analyze one whom you’d like to emulate? My own writing for now seems so bland, so…expositionally autotuned and droning. A robot could write with more expression.
There’s a website that analyzes your word choice and writing style when you paste in a bit of your work, and it tells you who you write like. It’s called ‘I Write Like‘ (and that’s the link to it), and I’ve used it once every five or so years for a while now, thinking it’s interesting who it says I write like, and wondering how accurate it is. In the past, I wrote like H.P. Lovecraft. Then years later it was Stephen King (I was so proud). And now, years later again- Agatha Christie, a lady I’ve never read anything from, so I wouldn’t know how I compare. I always do it three or four times at once with different pieces and different works to see if they match or not, and they always do- so what am I really writing? How am I writing?
So, take the plunge and find out who you write like, even just for funsies.