Do you have any advice on style?

audreyredpath:

 My most recent favorite bit of advice in relationship to writing style has to be the concept behind Jimmy Chen’s narrative analysis. Chen says all writing comes from three possible categories: the head, the mouth, and the heart. 

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Chen sorted well known authors into the above venn diagram by the primary style of their writing. Each style has its own charms and failings. Chen’s explanation is pretty concise: 

I think of all writing being from the head (pros: cerebral, conceptual; cons: didactic, dry), the mouth (pros: language, poetics; cons: empty banter, pure form), and the heart (pros: empathic, intimate; cons: sentimental, emotional)

Ultimately, you need to first identify where your style falls in the trifecta. Develop that style, and then push your boundaries. Find, if you can, a comfortable meeting between two or all sections. 

This is a very interesting concept, and although I don’t completely agree with this argument (for one thing, is sentiment really a failure?), I still think it can be thought-provoking and productive to think about style in terms of the head, mouth, and heart.

Share your thoughts.

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