Confessions about Style

My natural writing style is embarrassingly flawed. Problems include ambiguity, melodrama, and over-elevation.

My entire life, I have struggled with writing clear, interesting pieces. It is something I have been working on since I started the major about a year ago. I want to adhere to George Orwell’s advice: “Good prose should be transparent, like a window pane.” but I know that it is my natural inclination to be as flowery as possible. Over the past few semesters, I have worked hard to change my writing from being melodramatic to being clear and concise.

This shift has not been easy. At first, I tried to eradicate all melodrama from my writing. I quickly discovered that removing my perceived “melodrama” resulted in dry and in-cohesive papers. What I am experimenting with right now is using strong verb choices in order to add emotion to my piece (although, not in this piece for some reason. Please don’t over analyze it). When I use strong over choices, the power of my piece escalates, and I am able to more fully express myself while clearly expounding my thesis to the reader.

My writing style is nearly opposite to my speaking style. I am from Huntington Beach, and have adapted colloquialisms native to Southern Californians, y’know? Because I like to say “like” like, all the time, I like have difficulty building ethos in oral presentations  (of course, I often try to overcompensate for this issue and end up not saying much at all). On the other hand, when I write in my journal, I find myself experimenting with an elevated (almost academic) writing style. Maybe I am trying to compensate for my perceived inferiority to my peers, but whenever I freewrite, I fall into an over-elevated style. When writing Facebook or blog posts, I have to constantly remind myself that different genres require different styles.

Please don’t think I’m cocky. I think that my natural writing style comes off as pompous and naive. But I know I should keep writing. I have faith that, if I continue to exercise my writing like a muscle, one day my style will match my ambition.


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