Writing styles are, without a doubt, something that is essential for writers of all types to discover for themselves. While the process may not be easy, nor may it be quick and painless, having a set writing style will help a writer, well, get better to put it bluntly.
However, finding out your specific kind of writing style can be tricky. For some, it can take as little as a few days with proper experimentation. Whereas, for others, it can take months or even years for someone to feel as if they've built up a writing style they're comfortable with.
What exactly are writing styles?
A writing style is a style in which a writer, be they casual or professional, tends to write using. Think of it as an art style or signature; it's how your readers can identify your work is truly your own.
How does one figure out their style?
Well, there are a lot of different factors that go into finding out your own unique style. To name a few factors that are out there, there are: point of view, fluency, terminology, application, transitions, details, and open/close.
What does this mean?
It means that there is no truly "quick-and-easy" route to take when charting the waters of your own style. It's all about figuring out what and how you enjoy writing. Let it take its time as you experiment. As long as you enjoy the process and note which ways you enjoy writing, you will eventually figure out your specific style.
You mentioned a few different factors; what are those?
I'll go down the list I had in order to help you understand. Point of View- the perspective in which you write. Do you primarily use "I/me" (first-person POV), "you/yours" (second-person POV), or "he/she/they" (third-person POV)? This helps a lot with understanding how characters interact, think, and/or feel. Fluency - the level of understanding you have of the English language. Are you able to fluently speak & write, or are you still learning? A low fluency level can be a hazard to your writing if you try anything complicated, whereas a higher fluency level means you're freer to take more "writings risks" (metaphors, similes, references, etc). Terminology - the words which you use. Do you tend to repeat words? Spicing things up using different words can breathe more life into your writing; try using a synonym dictionary. Application - the way in which you're able to apply feelings and emotion to various scenes. Do you describe how your characters are feeling/how the setting looks? This is great for gauging how comfortable you are with your writing abilities. Transitions - how you're able to switch from one scene to another. Do you explain things thoroughly to your readers enough so they understand what's happening? Transitions help to avoid mishaps in understanding. Open/Close - where you stand on reader interpretation. Do you purposefully sprinkle in references or cryptic messages, or do you try to avoid them? Being able to reference things, add cryptic messages, or foreshadow certain events is always a welcomed touch in the writing community.
Have any more questions? Ask!
Now that we're done with notes, here's the assignment made to help you figure out (or get more experience with) your unique writing style.
I want you to write up a small 2-4 paragraph story describing a character (or yourself!) interacting with something (an animal/plant/item/food/etc.) in your favourite place, be it fictional or not. Make sure to include some dialogue and a description of the place.
~ Start Example ~
A warm summer breeze flows gently over low, grassy and flower-filled hills, grazing the surface of a nearby stream of water that cut the field in half. Tulips, irises, lilies, and other various species of flowers grow here, mostly undisturbed by the harshness of civilization. While such flowers may be mass-produced and grown for their cultivation date, they stand peacefully.
A young man, no visibly older than 20, is seated at the base of one of the only trees that can be seen for miles. With a book opened, he turned the old pages delicately, reading the contents held within the book's leather binding. It was a local fairy tale, The Entangled Mermaid, written in old English that predated even the eldest of people to have ever lived. Even he didn't entirely know how he came to possess a pristine Rennisance item, but he wasn't about to complain.
Perhaps he'd donate it to one of Amsterdam's libraries once he was finished with it, though for now, he was content to sit calmly and read. His amber eyes looked up from the pages when he felt something fuzzy brush against the back of his hand. A cat, an entirely black one at that. Though he was never one to believe old English superstitions, so he softly rubbed at the feline's head.
"Are you here to read this book too, little fella?" He asked out gently, his lips curling into a small smile as the cat cozied itself into his lap. "Well, seems as if I've got a reading friend, now don't I?"
~ Fin. Example ~
Once you do that, I want you to reread your own work, then put what you believe to be the best sentence in each paragraph in bold. Italicize what you believe is the worst sentence in each paragraph next. (If you don't know how to bold or italicize, I suggest you take a look at Text Editing)
Finally, after doing that, explain why you thought each sentence was the best/worst. Be detailed and concise as this can help you figure out how to improve your own writing without much help from others.
Remember, have fun writing, and don't be too hard on yourself when criticizing your own work. Our worst critique is ourselves; I'm confident all of you will do a wonderful job so don't stress it!