This article (a "shorty") is an extract from one of the lessons on our online creative writing course... so thought I'd share.

HOW TO USE DIFFERENT STYLES

Your writing style can vary from time to time to suit the subject.

A good writer is able to vary their style to suit the subject matter and the publication concerned.

For example, use short simple sentences when writing for very young children.

When writing articles for magazines, keep them strictly factual and to the point. No room for my flowery sort of language!

Style varies from publication to publication.

Some prefer to stick strictly to the facts of the matter, while others allow their writers to digress.

IS YOUR MEANING CLEAR?

That for me is good style.

TONE

This reveals your unique personality.

It means "how are you coming across" ? #

# Can I end a sentence with a "preppie"?

Is your tone angry, arrogant, breezy, sarcastic, bitter, ironic, cynical or informal?

What do you think is the tone of this lesson (article)?

Tone may be used to inform or instruct.

You should use variety in your choice of rhythms.

In my non-fiction works, I try to write in a simple and unobtrusive style, with the odd "whacky" bit of humour thrown in to keep the reader entertained, as well as informed.

I believe anyone can improve their style by reading and writing more.

Look at how successful authors do it and make a mental note of their varying styles. Read more (heed that one, Craig)!

Practice your own writing regularly, stand back dispassionately (hard that one) and look at it. Objectively???

Read the words out aloud, or preferably get someone else to read your work out to you. Words have
such power in them.

Ask yourself this important question:

DO THE SENTENCES FLOW NICELY (ie. do you have good rhythm)?

Look at the flow: Is there variety in the length and structure of the sentences?

Correct awkward phrases or obvious repetitions.

Check that your meaning is clear - with no waffling (must heed that one!).

Then rewrite and rewrite to improve the quality of your work.

Top writers rewrite many many times over.

Be aware that style can be changed to suit circumstances.

Style is very individual - it is your own style...and is YOURS alone - your unique personality "shining through" your words.
The right words can uplift, inspire, even heal... and create endless joy and love in our lives, as well as in many others.

Style may be simple, formal, and even utilize slang, or be more complex with long sentences, sub-clauses and paragraphs; but it should never lose its essential clarity.

The essence of good style, I believe, is SIMPLICITY.

In writing articles for say, newspapers, your preference will largely depend on your market.

For example in the UK, British newspapers like 'The Sun' generally have a short and sharp style - to appeal to the masses. 'The Times' usually has longer and more demanding prose to stimulate "more edu-ma-cated" readers.

I've written this article in a "short, sharp, snappy, punchy" style; but also have a serious, yet simple style for my novels on South Africa. They are written "from the heart" In a totally different style to this lesson/article's "brief, punchy and to the point" style. I wrote ANGOLAN DAWN in a different style to my other novels to portray the way an unsophistocated big word!) Angolan migrant labourer would see the world, think and speak.

In my non-fiction works, like this article and my self-help books, I try to write in a style that will best accomplish my writing aim: to "inform, entertain and hopefully even inspire people to reach out and become all they are CAPABLE of being".
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When I write articles for "the international market" of the net, I don't target particular countries and try to adapt my writing style. I write what I want to in a particular "voice or spectrum".

I've found that people around the world don't seem to mind the fact that I may use "funny" words or spelling - small details, like "s's" instead of "z's", color or colour...as long as the grammar is reasonably correct.

I just try to write in my "natural style with the odd bit of whacky and zany" humour - one in which I feel comfortable
(seeing I was brought up in South Africa with British English) and suggest you writers do the same.

My advice is just find your "natural style" by writing as you
SPEAK - as practice writing in your "natural style" breeds confidence.

Write "till you drop" and play the music in you through the power of the written word...
in your own unique style.

I hope this article may be helpful to you in learning more about your own "natural style".

Craig Lock
http://www.craiglockbooks.com

'Over the Rainbow' by Craig Lock: A look at the many colourful peoples, who make up this diverse and vibrant society, as seen through the eyes of a newspaper reporter. Many colourful "vignettes" in this "land of great contrasts" - happy, sad and true, that was the fabric of South African life in the lead up to the historic Democratic Election of 1994. 'Over the Rainbow is available at: www.lulu.com/craiglock

All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children - MINE

Author's Bio: 

Craig Lock
http://www.craiglockbooks.com

'Over the Rainbow' by Craig Lock: A look at the many colourful peoples, who make up this diverse and vibrant society, as seen through the eyes of a newspaper reporter. Many colourful "vignettes" in this "land of great contrasts" - happy, sad and true, that was the fabric of South African life in the lead up to the historic Democratic Election of 1994. 'Over the Rainbow is available at: www.lulu.com/craiglock

Publishing Guidelines:
We hope that the following article, which is an extract from Eagle Productions online creative writing course may be informative and helpful to your e-zine readers, or on your web site. If it helps others "out there" in any way, then we're happy. This article (as with all my articles) may be freely published, electronically or in print.

"We share what we know, so that we all may grow."