Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I was very eager to develop my style. Not that I understood what style was, but all the other writers had one, so I wanted one, too.

Style is defined in several ways: it is a way of expressing something (in language or art or music etc.) that is characteristic of a particular person or group of people or period; it is how something is done or how it happens; it is the popular taste at a given time.

If those definitions are a little muted, it’s because style is unique to each individual.

One of my old writing teachers wisely said, "Don’t worry about your style. It will come in time and it will be your own." She was right. But if you’re wondering if you can influence your style as it develops, or even change it, the answer is yes, depending on how hard you try.

It has been said that you will write like your favorite author if you read enough of his work. That was the part that scared me. I wanted to have a new, different voice. I didn’t want to sound like anyone. I didn’t realize that my own style would come through strong enough that I would still be me, even if I patterned myself after Hemmingway.

You will always be you. You will pick up a little from this author, and a little from that, but you will develop a unique blend that will be all you.

Do you want to change your style? That’s hard, but it can be done.

If you have a favorite author and you want to sound more like him, read everything he has written, over and over. That will put you into his thinking pattern. Analyze his best sentences. Did he use snappy verbs? Alliteration? Assonance, consonance, irony, polysyndeton? What makes him so special? Figure it out. Read a paragraph of his writing, and then set down to your typewriter and (without looking), phrase it in your own words. Compare the two writings and look at the difference. Some of the differences may lie in techniques you haven’t learned yet, and that could be an indicator that taking writing classes would highly benefit you. The particular class that would aid you in this kind of evaluation would be Wordsmithing, available at Creative Writing

If I could recommend only one class for an intermediate writer, it would be Wordsmithing. This course will take your writing to a whole new level. After you become a wordsmith, you will be able to quickly identify sizzling techniques.

You will be able to look at your own writing and think, "I need to speed this sentence up with alliteration,” or “I need to slow it down.”

Take your writing to the next level by signing up for Wordsmithing!