Writing in a New Style

David Foster Wallace's "Consider the Lobster

David Foster Wallace’s “Consider the Lobster

A few days ago, I wrote a piece with a completely different style than anything that I’ve ever written before. I wanted to write a piece that was formatted like a dictionary, with words and definitions on the page, and then my story in the footnotes. They way I approached it was I did research; I read a bunch of different pieces that incorporated footnotes into the story. I read stories by David Foster Wallace, chunks of Jenny Boully’s “The Body”, and T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland.” By exposing myself to different ways that the technique could be used, I learned a lot about writing in a way that’s completely foreign that makes it way less scary. I ended up writing something that was completely different stylistically, but I still learned a lot about my writing process. Here are some tips to work on developing your writing style. Has there ever been a times where you’ve tried a new style of writing, and if so, how did you approach it? What do you when you sit down to write; are there any ways that you prepare yourself or do you have a routine?

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7 comments

  1. There’s this new novel that I want to write, but instead of pants-ing it like I usually do, I’m going to try to write up a propectus– like writing a rough sketch of what will happen in every scene from beginning to end. I’ve never written a novel like this before, so I’ll be interested to see how it works out.

  2. I love experimenting with new styles. That is how I discovered lyrical prose, one of my favorite styles to write in. The very first lyrical piece I wrote, I based characters on different types of alcoholic drinks. I bound the character to that drink, included the the ingredients, method of making, and garnish. Also, I included pictures of each drink. I had a bunch of fun with it.

  3. I remember trying to write a story to sound more like a fairy tale once. My teacher said it read like Beowulf, so I feel like something went array

  4. That’s so neat! I’m going to put those books on my “To Read” list. I normally write in first person, but last year I tried to write in third, as well as write a modern story, rather than “historical” which I usually write. I’ve also tried poetry and prose and all sorts of different things. It’s nice to get out of your comfort zone and try new things!

  5. I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with different styles of writing. To me, it’s just fun, but it can also be a good way to figure out what style you like best, like you said.

  6. That’s a really interesting topic to cover–writing in different styles. I really like to experiment with that as much as I can. I really like your advice at reading unconventional works like Eliot, I definitely feel inspired to emulate great artists after reading works like The Wasteland.

  7. I really find this style you researched really interesting and incredibly difficult to grasp because it’s so different! But that is what makes it awesome.

    “Has there ever been a times where you’ve tried a new style of writing…?”

    With every new creative writing class I’ve ever been in! Seriously I never wrote growing up. So when I came to college and decided to become a creative writing major I’ve learned so many different styles and genres while still developing mine. I basically approach each new style with caution, but with the “just do it” attitude.

    “What do you when you sit down to write; are there any ways that you prepare yourself or do you have a routine?”

    I never prepare myself when I write because if I don’t just jump right in I’ll never get anything done. I mean I already put things off so much that I often have to force myself to do even the smallest of things. When I do sit down to write I normally have my face to the screen as close as I can while still being able to type and just go at it with my back hunched up. I try not to stop myself because if I stop I’ll get stuck, and if I get stuck I will get frustrated, which would lead me to leaving my laptop or going on Facebook or Tumblr. So yeah, I just go where my mind takes me.

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