Style - what it means to you?

Hello everyone :slight_smile:
I’m writing a MA thesis on the style of bestselling YA novels, and I’m trying to investigate what features of style are most important/ problematic for both writers and readers.
If you’re okay with being quoted in my dissertation, I’d like to ask you what aspects of style are most important for you as a reader and/ or writer. I’m researching the fields listed below, but if you have any other ideas, feel free to add them!

  • choosing the right word, being direct and brief
  • avoiding dead verbs
  • simplicity rather than difficult vocabulary
  • avoiding cliches (or not)
  • repetitions
  • sentence length
  • using too many adverbs and adjectives
  • Have you ever taken courses/ read books/ researched websites to improve your writing?

I don’t know if I’ll be able to quote all the answers, but I’ll read them carefully. And if you wish, I’ll send my thesis to anyone who contributed and wants to see it.
Thank you all in advance! Have a great day!

I’m a writer, and for me, what is most problematic, is if you are trying to write a book involving a character that is based on you or on somebody that you know like if they have a physical or mental illness and a reader tells you that it’s not how it’s described or calls the character a Mary Sue you don’t know how to take that without feeling down, because you created that character from love and your own research

I think there’s a difference between what is successful in practice - and publishing - and what writers are told works. There is definitely a place for wordy descriptions and an abundance of descriptive language, despite the ‘rules’ suggesting directness/ not overusing adjectives is the only way (though I personally prefer more vibrant verb usage to adverbs).
I also think there’s a place for cliches - it’s why they become so, after all. An easy way to create imagery that people understand is better than creating a random metaphor that doesn’t really fit. I’d argue that, especially for YA, who may be still developing their interpretive skills.
Difficult vocab - not writing James Joyce, but I personally like having to occasionally check a word in the dictionary - it’s how we increase vocab.
Sentence length is easy - vary it, and make purposeful use of design (eg short sentences to create breathless tension).
I’ve never taken a course, but I read ‘writing tip’ style websites a lot, and I read books constantly.
Good luck with your dissertation

There is a time and place for everything. Using only direct writing is boring, using only purple prose is tiring; what I have understood throughout my writing journey is that you can either choose to please the critics, or you can choose to please yourself and the audience that has chosen to read your work.

For me, as a writer and a reader, the most important part of style is free expression. I love adverbs, I use repetitive sentences for emphasis, I write flamboyantly rather than poorly, I prefer purple prose; and nobody can stop me, because even though my literature teacher would disapprove of me, I’ve gotten where I am by doing what I love instead of what others would love for me to do.

Verdict; made-up writing rules are trash, do what sounds best, you’re doing great sweety!