A writing style allows the writer to infuse their work with their own personality and stamp. They’re four basic writing styles:
1. Expository- The writer is telling you about a certain subject and leaves their opinion out of it. Many how to books are written this way.
2. Descriptive- Descriptive writing focuses a great deal on describing scenes and characteristics vividly.
3. Persuasive- The writer is trying to convince you of an argument or point.
4. Narrative- The writer is telling a story: This happened then that happened. The internet is a repository of information on the styles of writing.
I was taught that writing was more then beginning with a capital letter and ending with a period. Good writing takes you somewhere, tells you something. The book that really taught me to write, and write well, was a book called Hatchet by Gary Paulson. I first encountered this book in fourth grade when my teacher read it to us, and then again, in sixth grade, when I had to write a book report on the book. The writing of that report was a frustrating and trying experience that hacked and cut at my writing skills, and sometimes even my self esteem wit the efficiency of well, a hatchet. But, throughout the eight drafts I wrote of that damn report, I began to see my writing skills grow, mature, and flourish, like a flower in springtime.
The book is about a 13 year old boy named Brian who is dealing with the pain of his parents’ newly ordered divorce. While flying one summer to visit his father in the Canadian wilderness, Brian’s plane crashes on the shore of an L shaped lake. The only thing he has to help him survive is the hatchet his mother gave him when they part at the airport. He has the hatchet, and himself.
Brian was alone by himself for most of the book. He has very little dialog and the obstacles he confronts are the ones he puts in front of himself. Don’t those make for the best kind of Drama? The exposition in this book is vivid and consuming. I suppose, I have assimilated Mr. Paulson’s vivid, narrative writing style and incorporated it into my own prose. Hatchet is one of the things that gave me the courage to write a novel. Thank you, Mr. Paulson.