Styling

I’m not sure that I have a personal writing style, unless you consider being versatile as a defining characteristic.  I actually think that my style transforms more often than most people change their underwear.  I do write rhyming poetry, which I have found out is not considered to be contemporary poetry.  Well what the hell is that anyway, you might ask?  Contemporary poetry does not rhyme and it has no specific metrical rhythm, which allows readers to know and be able to associate with the language (way something is said) of your poem.  It is brief and the poet laces the poem with images using all the readers senses.  Imagery is a verbal representation of a sensory (being sight, touch, sound, taste or smell) impression.

Literature makes a distinction between prose and verse, and most of us can tell if a text is written in verse or prose when we read it, but defining them in clear terms can be a bit more challenging.  Prose is the ordinary form of written or spoken language.  It is what you would see in a newspaper article or a fictional novel.  Prose is the way that we would naturally write something, expressing our ideas as they emerge from our brains, without having to abide by any rules besides those of grammar.  Writing in prose can be difficult, because it can be hard to mimic the flow of speech that we incorporate into our daily lives without sounding fake.  In prose, phrases do not need to rhyme, although prose can rhyme if you want it to.

Speech has inherently powerful rhythms and human beings are directed by these rhythms that begin in our brains and they control our heart beat and breathing.  We might tap our feet to music, or jump up and dance when we feel the music taking us to a happy place.  Everything we do is measured by the beat, duration, and capacity of our minds and bodies.  Verse is often used as a synonym for poetry, but it isn’t exactly the same, as the latter is a literary genre while the former is a form of language.  Verse is a written poetic composition that takes into account the metric syllables, beats, and rhythm of sentences and sets them into lines (also called ‘verses’) and stanzas.  Therefore, it is a form of language that feels more artificial and complex than prose, although it isn’t necessarily more difficult.

When you write in verse, you use accents, pauses, metric feet and words with similar or contrasting sounds to create a flow that, ideally, will transmit a feeling or image to the reader.  It is very common for verse to rhyme, although it isn’t necessary.  Metric feet in poetry, refers to the sound patterns that each foot in a verse represents.  A metrical foot or prosody, is the basic unit known as the property of a single verse that composes a pattern of rhythm and sound in a poem.  Within the unit, we can find a limited number of syllables that corresponds to the pattern of the foot.  Thus, each line of poetry will follow a certain meter in its words.  Each type of metrical foot has a certain number of syllables that combine long or stressed syllables with short or unstressed syllables.  The combination of them creates a type of meter.

You can write in verse without worrying about rhyming.  This is called blank verse, which uses metric and beats but not rhymes, and free verse, which doesn’t usually have neither meter nor rhyme.  Free verse poems are defined by having no rules that define meter patterns, they do not necessarily rhyme and they do not necessarily have musicality.  This type of poetry is said to give the poet more freedom to express their mind in a more natural way without the tie of regular poetry that is subject to a specific structure and metered lines.  Free verse is all about what words make you feel, this is why the poet will usually carefully choose words to create feelings, perhaps the sound of a word might remind someone of a certain emotion.

Musicality is a word that poets use to talk about their particular techniques such as, alliteration which is the repetition of consonant sounds, usually at the beginning of words.  Assonance involves repetition of similar vowel sounds.  Diction where the selection of words in a literary work will have different meanings, for instance if a narrator says blood-red, that selection has different connotations than rose-red, even though the colors may be similar.  Onomatopoeia contains words that imitate the sounds they describe. Rhyme is matching sounds in two or more words.  Rhythm is the repetition of accents or stresses.  Rhythm is also important, as the speed of reading will also generate a specific sensation, so the use of commas and full stops has a higher importance.

Anapest is where two unaccented syllables are followed by an accented one, as in un-der-STAND.  Caesura is a pause within a line.  Dactyl being a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed ones, as in SHUD-der-ing.  Elision being the omission of an unstressed vowel or syllable, such as o’er for over. Iamb (as in Iambic) is an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one, as in at-TEMPT.  Trochee is an accented syllable followed by an unaccented one, as in MAY-be.

Style is the way an author selects and arranges words, and develops ideas using literary techniques.  Syntax is the order of words.  Tone is the writer’s attitude implicitly conveyed through diction, syntax, etc.  Personification is a figure of speech in which a thing which could be an idea or an animal that is given human attributes.  The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings.  Synesthesia refers to a technique adopted by writers to present ideas, characters or places in such a manner that they appeal to more than one senses like hearing, seeing, smell etc. at a given time.

Foot is a unit of measure in a metrical line, the syllables included in a kind of musical bar or measure. Pyrrhic is a metrical foot composed of two unstressed syllables (as in for the).  Spondee is a metrical foot represented by two stressed syllables.  Meter is the pattern of accents in poems.  Falling meter will move (or fall) from stressed syllables to unstressed syllables, where a rising meter will move (or ascend) from unstressed to stressed.

6 thoughts on “Styling

  1. Stylistically, if you see the size and shape of your paras (ignore the words for the moment), you will see a definite pattern. This pattern is stylised on how long you think it should be, not on the needs of the [point made by] paragraph.
    You have a style; can you stand back and see your own meter?

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  2. I like your style, Jim, and all of your posts are well-researched, well-written, and educational. I still think your posts are on the long side. But we’ve discussed that and I guess that’s just your style.

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