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What is considered a good writing style?

Gdratrang

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Do you think writing style is important? I place great importance on writing style, but find it nearly impossible to find a book (an author, actually) with great writing style. What do you consider a good writing style? On a scale of 1-10, how important do you find it? Can you list some books (or authors) you think have great writing styles?
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Minuend

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In fiction, story and the point of the story is most important to me. But I could read books just for their distinct writing styles even if the story was lacking.

The two books I remember at the top of my head with a bit different writing styles are Catch 22 and The World According to Garp. Both are pretty known, I guess. I found them entertaining.

I'm actually more concerned with writing styles when it comes to non-fiction. I hate tediousness or explaining too much. And I prefer getting a sense the author have a good understanding of what he tries to teach. Some non-fiction books are like reading a person trying to rewrite what he has been reading himself. Like when students regurgitate homework without understanding it.
 

Anling

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I prefer writers who use clever turns of phrase. I love Terry Pratchett. I also prefer more concise writing styles, if the writer is too long winded I end up skimming even if I like the story. I also enjoy more lyrical or evocative styles, I like beautiful language. I like a writer who demonstrates skill not just ideas and lofty intentions. As in poetry, it is better when the poet puts more thought into it than just pouring out their feelings in a cathartic rush.

In non-fiction, I prefer well constructed arguments with an engaging style. I get irritated if I have to wade through tedious minutia. I want there to be enough explanation/examples to understand the point, but I don't want to go through every possible example. I enjoyed Brian Green's The Elegant Universe.

I do not like writers who needlessly complicate their sentences or arguments. If you can't say it concisely, you haven't thought through it or edited it enough. Even though my own style tends to ramble too much; I always end up over clarifying and muddying things.

I do find style important, but it is not the most important part of my enjoyment of a book. So long as it isn't terrible. Perhaps a 6 or 7 on a 1-10 scale. I read a lot of amateur stuff online and some of it has a good premise, but is just so terribly written that I can't get past the first couple paragraphs. Though, I have also read some things from an editor that I just keep rereading to enjoy her absolutely wicked and witty style. I do find myself reading things I wouldn't have normally if I really enjoyed the writer's style in a previously read piece.
 

gwyxion

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Writing style is huge to me, but I find my tastes in style are a lot like tastes in music - if done well, I can like just about anything.

If you liked Catch-22, I'd recommend Michael Crichton. Starship Troopers was also pretty fantastic. Fantasy-wise, you might be interested in Tales of the Kin by
Douglas Hulick. All have engaging narrators and a gritty/fast-paced style. Chuck Wendig is pretty good in the style department, too, if you don't mind a more patchwork approach to story progression.

I'm the same about long-winded writers, Anling. :) I love Ann Rice's stories and she's had a huge influence on how I develop characters, but wading into her novels can be like pulling teeth for ratio of description to actual dialogue.


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