There is a single most important strategy for improving your writing ability faster and better than any other strategy you’ve ever encountered. It will leave all the others in the dust, and it has been used by master writers for centuries to get the kind of writing quality they’re looking for almost instantly. That simple strategy is the constant and relentless imitation of existing master writers around you right now.
And the best way to do that is to read as much as you can in as many genres as you can. Expose yourself to diverse styles and writing techniques. And something very strange will happen. Your own writing will begin to imitate the writing styles of the writers you’ve started to read. In fact, your writing style will change frequently, almost like the blowing of a feather in the wind. First it will be this way, then it will be that. One monthy you’ll write like this popular author, the next, a different one.
Miraculously, your writing style will start to imitate the writer you’ve most recently read, but, just as remarkably, you’ll retain just a bit of the styles of the writers you’ve read before.
And slowly, inevitably, your own writing style will begin to evolve. But even more important, your writing will get better, almost instantly.
Just sit down during your next writing session and say to yourself that you’re going to write this piece as if it was being written by the last author you read. Don’t Instead of trying to fight the natural tendency to sound like what you just read, you want to embrace it.
Once you’ve written the piece, you’ll sit back and say that, yep, it does sound very much like Hemmingway, or Dan Brown, or Stephen King, or Danielle Steele.
Now the real surprise, no one will know. Your readers either don’t pay that much attention to the writing style of particular authors, or don’t even know about the writer you’re trying to imitate. Guaranteed, you simply won’t get an email saying, “Oh, you’re just trying to sound like John Updike.”
And even if your reader was an Updike scholar, the chances of you writing just like your target author are so slim that you have literally nothing to fear.
Does that mean you’re going to be handcuffed to that writing style for the rest of your life? Not at all. You’ve got to read as many different writers as you possibly can. Take the techniques, the methods and the ideas you get from all of them and use them in your own writing style. The result? An absolutely unique writing style that is yours and yours alone.
And the really big benefit? The quality of your writing will improve instantly and relentlessly.
So read as many different authors as you can. In as many genres as you can. If you like the writing, keep reading and you’ll absorb the writing style virtually through osmosis. If you don’t like the writing style, ask yourself why? What has the author done that turned you off? And make sure you avoid that in your own writing.
Steve Manning is a master writer showing thousands of people how they can write their book faster than they ever thought possible. Here’s your free Special Report, http://www.WriteABookNow.com/articles/am2.html