The Publishing Culture

Literally copying other writers


Though we are looking at aspects of a writer’s style that may be worth emulating, sometimes we have to just literally copy other writers in order to get a better understanding of the different ways to arrange words on a page.

The Write Practice gives us an interesting perspective on this, by suggesting that going out and copying, word for word, a page or two of our favorite writer will help us to write better and further develop our own personal styles.

If you imitate long enough, eventually, you’ll find your own voice. It will be some crazy combination of everyone you’ve imitated plus something that is wholly you.

So go out there and steal something. If you do it enough, the world will be better for it.

Though I don’t think many of us will go out and actually copy pages of other writers, it’s still some food for thought that may help give some of us better writing styles.