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Writers tips

Are You Versatile Enough? Why Writing in Different Tones and Styles Is Key to Success

We can’t help but write based on our predisposed personality traits.

If we are a generally positive, joyful person, it is likely that we are choosing to develop content that is filled with smiles and gratitude.

If, on the other hand, we are a bit depressed and anxious, we are looking to flush that energy out in our writing and we feel good creating horror or thriller scenarios.

While developing our own novel it might be a good idea to pick a tone and style, and stick to it,  (besides the bookstore will need to know in which section to place the book), it is generally a good idea to get comfortable with  a lot of writing tones and styles.

Most writers do freelance writing for content companies, blogs, marketing departments, advertising agencies and so on.

The assignments can range from anything business to humor, to short stories or marketing material.

It is critical that you develop the ability to adjust, and write in different tones and styles if you want to survive and eventually succeed as a writer.

Besides maintaining the same tone and style might eventually bore you anyway.

Why is it Important to Learn how to Write in Different Tones and Styles?

1.   Secure more gigs

In the freelance world of writing you will come across various, extremely different types of jobs. Yes sure, they are all writing gigs, but take a closer look and you will see that half of it looks foreign to you.

People are looking for technical writers, some are looking for blog content, others want marketing content and some are even looking for ghostwriters for their books. Some are looking for screenwriters while others want you to develop all the content for their websites.

You see, having the ability to switch tones and styles opens up the market for you.

2. Keep your Audience Engaged

Even if your only job is to write for the same blog daily, you have to find a way to not be predictable. It is boring for you, and your audience.

3. Keep it Fresh

Do anything long enough and it becomes mundane and boring.

Still water grows mold, and so does everything else in life that refuses to evolve and change.

Changing up your style and tone allows you to continue learning and experimenting.

4. Communicate Better with A wider Range of Readers

We do not all speak the same ‘language’ literally and figuratively.

Developing the ability to capture any audience you are required to write for is a priceless skill.

Of course none of this diversity in tone and style comes easy. We all tend to gravitate to what expresses us more naturally.

And sure, you read many times, and we agree that finding your style and tone is a critical part of your own personal branding journey.

However for the purposes of working in the industry exploring the various tones and styles is a must.

Let’s Take a Look at Some Styles

1.   Expository

The main thing to understand about this type of writing is that this is not an opinion based style.

Expository writing is used when we want to explain something. It is generally about a specific subject, for example lack of growth in the real estate market, or unemployment, where the author presents data without expressing personal opinion.

When you write this type of article you will need to back the information up with research and references.

Expository writing is important to explore because a lot of the gigs out there are based on academia, or how-to pieces that require you to be able to remain neutral and perform research.

2. Descriptive

The main purpose of descriptive writing is to develop a story, a character or an event.

It is filled with details and can even turn very poetic.

This type of writing is greatly suited when writing short stories, a novel, reviewing events or generally used to review hotels or any type of product or service.

It is the most imaginative of all styles and you can have a lot of fun with this one.

3. Persuasive

This is a mix of opinion and facts. Persuasive writing has one purpose, and is it to get the audience to agree with you. Here you can use reason, logic, research, emotion and anything else you can find to achieve your purpose.

Persuasive writing is often used in paid reviews, cover letters, opinion columns, and editorial pieces, marketing and advertising and sales content.

If you learn how to do this one well, it will serve you for a long time.

4. Narrative

The difference between a narrative piece and a descriptive piece, is that in narration we are focusing more on the event, and not so much on the details surrounding the event.

For example, you can use the narrative style to write biographies, short stories and novels that are based on timelines and not so much character development, which requires many details and descriptions.

It is also perfect for when you have dialogue taking place.

Any of the styles can be combined, depending on your assignment and your goal.

Let’s Take a Look at Some Tones

  • Serious: This is perfect for suspense and thrillers.
  • Joyful: This tone is surrounded by positive emotions like love, happiness and gratitude. Great for motivational speaking and self-help material.
  • Sad: This is one of the easiest tones to tap into. It is part of the human condition to default back to sadness quite easy. Perfect for poetry, book writing, short stories and even reporting news. Just make sure you don’t make too many people depressed!
  • Humorous: There are two languages spoken by all, math and humor. If you master this one, you have a rare and winning tool in your hands. People love to laugh. You can change anyone’s opinion through humor.
  • Formal: This tone is perfect for academia and speeches.
  • Informal: Perfect for blogs, very close to what we now call ‘voice’ content. Write the same way you speak.
  • Pessimistic: Close to sadness but with a bit more doom and gloom thrown in.
  • Optimistic: This takes more effort that pessimism. You will need to develop the useful skill of finding the silver line in everything.
  • Horror: Great for books, stories, movie and even marketing when used write (especially around Halloween).

Ready to mix and match?

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1 comment on “Are You Versatile Enough? Why Writing in Different Tones and Styles Is Key to Success

  1. Great advice!

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