Now, this post is a sequel to my previous two posts on writing styles. I’ll drop a link those posts so that anyone who wishes to can go back and read them. In this post, I’ll be highlighting four choices that can affect a writer’s style.

1. Word choice.

Examine the sentences that follow:
Mr A is fatter than Mr B
Mr A is twice the size of Mr B.

Both sentences mean roughly the same thing, but I’m sure you’d agree that sentence two paints a clearer picture in your mind than sentence one. Essentially, a writer should always use words that help the reader visualise the sentence or text in their minds.

2. Punctuation.

A writer’s use of punctuation marks like commas, question marks, etc. plays a vital role in how the reader interprets the text or sentence. Again, consider these two sentences:

Fifty, five Naira notes
Fifty-five Naira notes.

Both sentences contain the same words, but the meaning of sentence two has been altered due to the use of a hyphen.

3. Syntax.

Syntax is merely the way words or phrases are arranged to form a sentence.  For instance, the sentences shown below convey two entirely different meanings, even though they contain the same words.

The girl beat the boy with the big hands.
The girl with the big hands beat the boy.

Sentence two is mainly the rearrangement of the syntax of sentence one, to clarify the true meaning of the sentence.

4. Sentence structure.

A writer should always use varying sentence structure to avoid monotony. When you write a long sentence, follow it with a short one, and then maybe a very long one, then perhaps a one-liner. This adds rhythm to your work and makes it flow better.

That’d be all for now. See you in the next post where we shall be exploring ways to identify your own unique writing style/voice. In the meantime, what other choices do you think can affect a writer’s style? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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