Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Should We Try To Mimic Writing Styles?

Recently I've been trying to insert a bit of humor into my writing. I don't come by it naturally and what I do write is very dry. Some may not even pick up on it at all. I also fluctuate in how much comedy I care to insert every day. The reason I do this has to do a lot with art classes and comic groups.

 I like to occasionally draw comics. I love manga and anime (Japanese comics and cartoons respectively.) In order to become the best possible artist I could be people told me to copy the works of those I liked most. This got me used to drawing lines and forms in a certain way. Over time it did help me improve my art. I never invested the time to make it something truly spectacular, but it's not something I would burn either. So, I figured, if redrawing the artwork of others for practice helped improve my art, then maybe practicing writing in another's voice might help me improve my humor.

Bill Bryson wrote A Walk In The Woods and I fell in love with the book in my super senior year of college (year 5.) It was one of the few textbooks I actually enjoyed reading and ended up finishing earlier than the class schedule. I liked his writing voice so much that he inspired me to start putting a little levity in my own work.

I must admit I haven't talked about a friend, painfully over weight, heaving chocolate bars on a trip across the Appalachians. Nor have feared a wild cat would jump out of the bushes and eat me while outside in the evening. Then again my experience hasn't been anything like Bryson's. Mine have been with authors, conventions, books, and mostly indoors. The most recent bit of hilarity being my attempt at getting into shape. 

In the future I could make mention of my painfully out of date computer and it's many quirks. I could talk about the little irrational fears I've had, my pet peeves, or even the craziness that was Youmacon this year.  Bryson manages to write about fears and annoyances in his travels, while incorporating real history. He's my ideal as far as blogging is considered. He's factually funny. 

I don't think my style will ever be entirely like his, but I can hope that I'm learning lessons as I try to share the humor that I've kept hidden away for so long. In the end this could flop. A writer's voice will always be their own, but I think with a little practice I could learn to expand its range from old, sterile, and dark.

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