Which Writing Style Matches Your Personality?

[Updated 1/15/2018]

It’s always nice to have options, and when it comes to writing your book you have several options. Some authors prefer to write whatever comes to mind and allow the purpose to unfold over time. For others, they prefer to start with a clear purpose and a plan that will get them there. For me, I can go either way depending on the writing project at hand. But this isn’t about me, so let’s get back to you.

Like my Publishing Personalities, the writing personalities are based on my work with authors. In other words, it is not scientifically based, so don’t take it as law about how you should write your book. Instead, let me be a helpful starting point.

Intro to Writing Styles

In “7 Strategies for Writing Your First Draft,” I identified the following writing options:

  1. Compile: bringing all your existing information together into a single location-or pile.
  2. Interview: interview others and use the information in your book.
  3. Freewrite: just sit down and write.
  4. Storyboard: Using pictures, images or even words to visually organize your ideas just like classic Disney cartoons were created.
  5. Dictate: Simply speak the information you want to have in your book and allow a machine and/or person to record and transcribe it into your book.
  6. Outline: I always encourage authors to start their book with a draft of the table of contents, so an outline adds to it by inserting sentences to describe the details that will be in each section and using a spacing system to show hierarchy and the relationship between the ideas.
  7. Hire a Scribe: Tell me your book idea and I’ll help you develop it into a concept and put your words on paper for you as a co-writer. You keep all book rights.

Intro to Writing Personalities

To keep it simple, I’ve identified two main personalities: Analytical Authors and Intuitive Authors.

Analytical Authors are more likely to be avid planners who use organizing and categorizing to help create structure in their lives. They are more comfortable with following a familiar, tried and true solution than creating a new one.

Intuitive Authors are more likely to be guided by strong principles, values and beliefs. They are more comfortable with experimenting to create a new solution than with relying on a familiar solution.

Writing Style Recommendations Based on Personality

Analytical Author Recommendations:
  • Compiling: Let’s not reinvent the wheel. If you compiled a lot of information you already own to create your table of contents, you can use that same information to write your first draft. If it doesn’t give you all the information you need, you can use one of the following strategies to add to it.
  • Storyboarding: Just because you are a fan of organizing and categorizing does not mean that you don’t appreciate a little creative expression. A storyboard allows you to use images to represent the key ideas in your story. Instead of getting bogged down in words, you can focus on organizing the images that represent your vision. You can always write it later or hire a ghostwriter to finish it off.
  • Outlining: This is a great way to keep the big picture in mind and help you focus on the relationships between the information you want to share. The more detailed your outline is for your entire book, the easier it will be to write it out later as a manuscript.
  • Hire a Scribe: If you don’t have time to write your full manuscript after using one of the strategies above, you can always partner with a co-writer. When you work with Danielle, each word will be yours and you have the last say about how your book manuscript is written.
Intuitive Author Recommendations:
  • Compile: This is a great place to start discovering the different parts of your message, and it can be easily combined with one of the other recommendations if your compilation doesn’t have enough to complete the book you want.
  • Interviewing: This allows you to interact with others and see what emerges from your conversations. Your book will gain a lot from these insights.
  • Freewriting: Just jump right into writing and see what emerges. Don’t worry about perfection, you can always edit your work later before you share it with others. However, you may want a Book Blueprint later to help you polish it for publication.
  • Dictating: Get a recorder and let the book flow out of your mind and into recorded words. Use the table of contents you drafted for your book as an outline. See more tips in the “7 Strategies for Writing Your First Draft” post.
  • Hire a Scribe: I specialize at taking your book concept out of your head and onto the page. I can do this by doing a series of interviews with you or compiling any existing recordings, speech notes or other information you give me to write the rough draft. The goal is to produce a manuscript that is so authentically you that even your family and friends will think you physically wrote it on your own. The only difference is that it will likely be a more grammatically polished version of you.

Final Thoughts

Becoming an author is fun no matter how you do it. The most important thing to remember is that you will never be an author unless you finish writing the book.

The information above can be just what you need to get out of a rut and finish getting your book on paper.

Image Attribution: Derivation of "Sketching" by Brian Pirie/500px

Danielle Fetherson

Danielle helps aspiring authors become published authors. She believes that everyone has at least one book on the inside of them that can make a positive impact on someone else's life. If you have been thinking about writing a book, learn how to start your book today with the free resources at DanielleFetherson.com.