Writing styles: Succinct, choppy, pithy, posh or with a ‘pretentious smirk on their lips’

A Statement On Style

By DANIEL HOJNACKI
Special to LifeAtStart.com

There is an abundant variety of writing styles an author may choose from. Some write short sentences. You know, real small. Succinct. Choppy. Others utilize a veritable litany of words, ostensibly with the purpose of vastly increasing the length of their sentences. Some use proper diction and punctuation, in such a manner that would inspire a spirited salute from grammar Nazis the world over.

Daniel Hojnacki

Daniel Hojnacki

Othas yoos dah lekt, y’see, ta givya sainsa howda peeplinda stoy toke. “Others use simple phrases for effect. Yet other authors veil their messages beneath a vitriolic veneer of verbosity, under the auspices of imbuing their dissertations with recondite erudite incitement, posh sophistry, and a Kafkaesque chimericality with Roget’s thesaurus in their hands and a pretentious smirk on their lips. Then there’s constrained writing styles, like univocalisms, in which only one vowel is allowed to be used in the entire piece. It’s pithy writing which limits frills, limning with trickily wild cryptic wit. Many authors keep their paragraphs going for staggering lengths.

Others make one sentence paragraphs for emphasis.

Do some writers open a piece with rhetorical questions to inspire guilt, fear, or doubt in their readers? Is Barney and Friends an allegory for the Watergate scandal? Are cereal brand names having an adverse effect on adolescent literacy? Are “quotation marks” & ampersands obnoxious?  Does asking enough rhetorical questions distract people from the fact that you don’t have a point?

Some writers use a recurring phrase as a stylistic motif.

Likewise, legions of literary intellects lecherously utilize lumbering lackluster alliteration. Assonance has gladly been a massive practice that can passively madden manic masses. Figurative speech can be used to enhance the quality of a work, like an azure sky illumining a summer day, or a pedantic simile in an essay. Metaphors are a wild beast, an untamed impala stalking its prey. A lot of authors use unconventional phrasing, but switched word order does not a profound statement make. I like writers that don’t need to use ellipses … yet.

Some writers use a recurring phrase as a stylistic motif.

Another important choice an author must make is how to conclude their piece. You’ll find many authors attempting to close their work with grandiose statements which encapsulate the essence of the previous events of the story. Invoking evocative imagery of decimated villages crying out for the hand of divine providence, perilous depths flippantly taunting our protagonist from the outpost of his daunting altitude, lovers’ entwined hands symbolizing the immaculate marriage of faith and fidelity so absent from our troubled times. Or they could concoct a brilliant phrase with which to characterize the overall message, some pontificating on which deeds and rests are far, far, better than others, some insisting on beating on against figurative currents. Some eerily express affection for an omniscient older sibling, while some make obvious and poetic similes about the sun.

Others end abruptly.

Daniel Hojnacki is a senior at Start High School. He is going to pursue a career in either film or music journalism. He has been active in the Toledo community theater scene and is performing in Start’s production of the Laramie Project this fall.

Contact Daniel Hojnacki at: dphojnacki9@yahoo.com