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Mimicking another author's style

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Kenneth Logan Jr., Mar 17, 2012.

  1. I know this might not be the right place to ask but I going to ask anyway because this is basically research. There's a character that I really I want to base the speech patterns of P.G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster. The problem is he is a very unique author and he has these prose that one Wodehouse scholar has said that it is hard to imitate and mock P.G. Wodehouse's unique prose. My question is, should I read closely to the texts of Wodehouse and try to emulate him the best I can or should I just do my version of what I think Wodehouse would've said in my writing of the character I am working on?
  2. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    You're correct: this should be in the Writing Questions section. I'll answer anyway. ;) (And then probably move the thread.)

    Answer is it's up to you. Wodehouse's characters don't have speech pattern that are that unique. Apart from the period Wooster's slang derives from, you could lift dialogue right out of some of Oscar Wilde's works and end up with much the same thing. On the other hand, you may not find yourself able to precisely emulate the language Wodehouse uses even if you immerse yourself in his works. My personal inclination is to say go with what you think the character ought to sound like, rather than trying to copy it precisely… you're more likely to be happy with the result, I think.
  3. Yes I think I'll just go with what the character ought to sound like than copying precisely.
  4. Phin Scardaw

    Phin Scardaw Troubadour

    Emulating another author's style is a really great writing exercise. I've been doing it for years with my favourite writers in attempt to identify what makes their writing effective, and to see if I can do the same. I think that this might be an important part of the process if you're intent on eventually creating your own style. It's probably a good idea, if you want your story to sound like it comes from a certain time period, to immerse yourself in the writing of many different authors from that era. No point in limiting yourself. At the same time, allow your own writing style to evolve as it will, and you'll find yourself surprised no doubt with what you can come up with on your own. Eventually, young writers will be trying to emulate you!

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