One of the best writing exercises I know is to emulate a specific author – ‘writing in the style of…’ – because it forces the writer to analyse exactly how the writing they’re emulating was put together. That’s how you learn things.
But let’s take that further. The idea of writers figuring out another’s writing style is one I pinched from music training. Students have to learn how to compose something ‘in the style of’ a specific composer, precisely because it forces analysis and, hence, understanding. Where can you take that? Why, here:
Can writers do this? You know – juxtapose style against content? Absolutely. So here’s the challenge. In the comments, is anybody game to try a line or two of:
- The opening of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities in the style of Enid Blighton’s “Famous Five”… OR
- Herman Melville’s Moby Dick in the style of Captain W. E. Johns’ “Biggles”… OR
- Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” (any story written pre-1926) in the style of Dan Brown.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2016