Thinking About Style
I am reading Copyediting and Proofreading for Dummies by Suzanne Gilad. I enjoy reading this kind of book. It is for my own entertainment. Writersinthesky mentioned it on Twitter. http://twitter.com/writersinthesky . Words fascinate me, especially written words.
Reading Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies has made me think of some of the stylistic choices I make in writing this blog. I sometimes write my posts out longhand then type them up in Wordpad before posting them. I want to keep the process as simple as possible, so I don't use Wordperfect which has a grammar and spellchecker built in. This probably leads to more grammar and spelling mistakes. But, it also makes the style much more personal. There is a certain charm in not being quite perfect.
I realize that my grammar is not perfect. I try and focus on using grammar to provide clear statements about what I am writing about. I am not as much concerned about the finer technical points of grammar and structure. Like most bloggers, I don't have an assistant or editor to check what I am writing.
There are a few stylistic points which I would like to make. I don't indent paragraphs, instead, I put in a line break between paragraphs. I also break my posts into sections with headings that are bolded. I think this makes it easier for people to read my blog. I put in my own paragraph and line breaks using html.
I also write out the full url of any links which I put in. This is because of a style of web searching which called stripping. I like to see the whole url when I am going to a blog or website. This allows me to parse the url into sections; I can then use pieces of the url to go to different parts of a website. I also can use various search commands to find information about a website; the url command allows me to find all the pieces of a website, the link command allows me to find who is linking to a web site, and the document type at the end of the url allows me to search for specific types of documents attached to a specific website.
I try to include an image with each post I write. This is usually of something writing, publishing, or library related. I often use Wikimedia http://www.wikimedia.org/ ; or public domain image websites listed in Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain_image_resources . I try to use public domain images as much as possible.
Somtimes, I will include a Youtube video. This is usually something which is directly related to the post which I am writing about. For example if I am writing a review of a Neil Gaiman book, I might try and find a Youtube video of Neil Gaiman reading from the book which I am reviewing.
My writing is also not formal. I am not writing to have my work published in magazines. Although recently, I have submitted a book review to The Society of Midnight Wanderers, book reviews to the Book Review Blogcarnival, and to some of the Blogcatalog threads: http://www.blogcatalog.com/group/book-readers/discuss/entry/the-book-review-thread
I have also been picked up with links from several different authors for the reviews I have written. This is a link from Slow Train To Arcturus by Dave Freer and Eric Flint. http://davefreer.livejournal.com/#entry_82576
I may have to reconsider the formality of my writing style. David Henderson who wrote The Media Savvy Leader Visibility, Influence, and Results in a Competitive World sent me a copy of his book for reviewing purposes. I was very surprised and pleased with this. I also enjoyed the book a lot. http://twitter.com/davidhenderson
I am constantly trying to improve the quality of my writing. I don't mind if people criticize me for the content that I am writing. I want to improve considerably. This is one of the reasons I am reading Copyrighting & Proofreading for Dummies. I have read numerous other books on writing and reviewed a few of them here. One of my favorites was Writing Begins With The Breath by Laraine Herring. http://bookcalendar.blogspot.com/2008/10/writing-begins-with-breath-laraine.html
Style is of course a matter of personal taste.