For such a small word, style can conjure up a lot of meaning.
I don’t often think about style in relation to writing. Most of the time, when I think of the word style, I think about hair or a TV show like Project Runway. Style makes me think of fashion and how one chooses to express their style through what they wear. I’ve talked about style when it comes to music at times as well. But, rarely have I considered style in relation to writing.
I have a friend, a former roommate actually, that is a writer. His work always intrigued me because of his unique voice. His characters are quirky and just unreal enough to be believable. I chose the 5 letter word “voice” to describe what I liked about his writing, but could I not use the word style in this case as well?
Occasionally, I will read a work by a writer and I feel drawn in by their writing style. Sometimes, their style is conversational and easy to relate to and I feel like I am in the work, experiencing it as it happens on the page. Other times, the style is quirky and unique and it makes me feel like I’m a voyeur getting a glimpse into the secret life of a character or situation. Obviously, style can have a large impact on my enjoyment of a work. I am not a huge history nerd, but I love to read books written by Sarah Vowell. Her voice is unique- both her speaking voice and her writing voice. Her style is accessible and can make reading about presidential assassinations riveting. I’m fairly certain that not every author could make me say that! Her style draws me in and allows me to thoroughly enjoy a topic I would not otherwise necessarily investigate.
It seems that for me, style is an extension of the word voice when it comes to writing. It is a combination of many choices made by an author. From word choices, to sentence structure, to point of view- they all come together to become a writer’s style.