Ayala Silverman Capstone

For my capstone, I wanted to explore the importance of an author’s voice and what makes a literary work distinctive. I aimed to bring attention to the subtle details and nuances in the way authors write that gives their stories depth and character that differ from other authors. To do this, I researched how writing styles change over time and what components factor into making an author’s style unique. I wrote four short stories emulating four different authors’ styles using my research and initial idea. Instead of directly trying to copy the styles of writing, I took frequently used plot-lines and literary elements from each authors’ works and integrated it into my own writing. Throughout my writing process, I began to appreciate each authors’ writing style more and it also made me more aware of the distinctiveness of my own style.

Annotated Bibliography

1. Brundage, David. 2019. "Elements Of Writing Style". Accessed January 24 2019.

A large part of what makes up an author’s distinct writing style is how they utilize literary elements. This article aims to explain these elements and how they should generally be used. It explains in depth what each element means and provides examples of how they’re used in writing. For my project, I will need to take notes on how the authors use these elements in their stories and I will use this article as a source for what stylistic choices to look for while reading. I believe this source is reliable because it was adapted from an English course text from Athabasca University by an academic author.

2. Dumas, Alexandre. 1844. The Count Of Monte Cristo.

“The Count of Monte Cristo” is a hefty novel by Alexandre Dumas, one of the authors I aim to emulate in my project. The story consists of a young man that is sabotaged by his business partners and goes to prison. Once out of prison, the man becomes involved in crime in order to get revenge against those who wronged him. I will be using this book for my project because it was written in a significantly different time period than the other novels I am emulating. This will give me a lot of content to compare how writing has changed over time, especially between the 1840s and the 2010s. I will also read through the brief introduction written by Richard Church in order to gain further understanding of Dumas and his novel. This is a credible source because it is a novel written by Dumas himself.

3. Famous Authors And Their Writing Styles - Craft Your Content". 2017. Craft Your Content. Accessed January 24 2019. https://www.craftyourcontent.com/famous-authors-writing-styles/.

This article delves into different famous authors and how and why they were so influential. It mentions many great writers from across all time periods and genres. It marks the importance of each authors’ unique writing style and how that difference made them so “revolutionary” (as the website kept referring to them). I won’t be using this source actively within my project, but instead more passively. The concept of unique writing styles based on time period, experiences, and the potential to change an environment through writing is something that I should keep in mind while emulating authors that have had a significant impact in the writing world. This is a credible source because it was written on a website made for writers and writing tips. (The author, while not well known to my knowledge, also makes sure that her name is both before and after the article.)

4. Harmetz, Aljean. 1987. "STEVE MARTIN REVISES 'CYRANO'". Nytimes.Com. Accessed January 25 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/1987/07/12/movies/steve-martin-revises-cyrano.html.

This article explains in detail the process that writer Steve Martin went through recreating the 19th-century play “Cyrano de Bergerac”. It starts from the beginning, with him drawing inspiration from the play to create a more modern, less tragic story. It also documented his struggles with writing and editing the script in order to be the best he believed it could. I have drawn both inspiration and insight from reading this article. I believe that my process will be somewhat similar to Martin’s even though I’m simply emulating instead of recreating in a new setting. In the article, Martin mentions that he would constantly scrap ideas and that a writer shouldn’t be afraid to start over -- this is important for me to remember so that I don’t get stuck with writer’s block. This is a reliable source because it was an interview of Steve Martin from the physical New York Times written in 1996.

5. "Moses And The Man Of Steel ". 2019. Psychology Today. Accessed January 25 2019. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-hero-in-you/201409/moses-and-the-man-steel.

Writing, especially in the narrative style, consists of embellishments and implementation of fantasy. This article first criticizes how humans tend to state things literally and accurately before commenting on human morality. This is connected to heroism throughout history where the article’s author compares the story of Moses to that of Superman. He draws comparisons between each story and of the main characters’ lives, explaining how the similarities were intentional so that Superman could be a source of comfort for people. This source does not comment on emulation, but it does write about a concept that is similar. The article gave me insight as to how I could potentially emulate themes or ideas from my chosen authors. This is a reliable source because it written by a professor and writer.

6. Mummini, Swathi. 2019. " ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY - West Side Story And Romeo And Juliet". Eportfolios.Macaulay.Cuny.Edu. Accessed January 25 2019. https://eportfolios.macaulay.cuny.edu/leval2009/2009/09/13/west-side-story-and-romeo-and-juliet/.

This article discusses the similarities between Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and the movie “West Side Story”. The author describes the similar concepts and themes within both media and how “West Side Story” drew inspiration from the play. Similarly, the concept of forbidden love has been used across media for decades. I will be using this source because the process of recreating a story and emulating a story is pretty similar. Since I am emulating an author instead of using my own writing style, I will have to give a personal twist on the story itself. This source has given me insight on how to do so. This is a credible source because it was published by a student attending CUNY.

7. Paris, Ask, Submit Question, Submit Review, Hat TIPs, Get TIP, and Ivan Ross. 2017. "How Important Is An Author’S Writing Style?". Blogs.Tip.Duke.Edu. Accessed January 24 2019. https://blogs.tip.duke.edu/insights/2017/10/16/how-important-is-an-authors-writing-style/.  

Writing style isn’t necessarily always about technique, but also about the author’s voice. An important part of narrative writing is the author’s voice and this article discusses this idea. It also provides examples of how different styles can affect the flow and meaning of a passage. I will be using this source as inspiration and an example for how my emulations should turn out. The article has given me insight on the idea that how I write should be the focus of the story, not necessarily what I write. This is a reliable source because it is a blog post made by members of Duke University.

8. R. R. Martin, George. 1996. A Game Of Thrones.

The book “A Game of Thrones” is the novel I chose to help me emulate George R. R. Martin. I’m not entirely sure what the book is about, as there are many different character lines to follow. However, it is filled with plenty of death, angst, and character building. I will be using this story in order to gain a concept of how to write similarly to R. R. Martin. For this author in particular, I will be paying close attention to his sentence structure and general flow of the story. This is a credible source because it’s written by the author that I am drawing inspiration from in my project.

9. Schwab, V. E. 2015. A Darker Shade Of Magic.

This novel is also one of the main books that I will be emulating in my project. This book and the two others listed have significant gaps in time between the dates they were published. This is so I can make note of the change in styles through history and over large spans of time. “A Darker Shade of Magic” follows two main characters: a young man yearning for freedom from his surrogate family and a young woman desperate to travel the world. This author will be slightly easier to emulate because of her more modern writing style (and while not extremely similar, it’s closer to my own style than the other novels). This is a reliable source because it is written by V. E. Schwab, an author I will be emulating.

10. "Writing Styles". 2019. Whs.Wsd.Wednet.Edu. Accessed January 24 2019. http://whs.wsd.wednet.edu/faculty/cloke/WritingStyles.html.

This website follows the most popular writing styles and topics that authors used throughout American history. It documents the form of writing in which the stories were transcribed and the eras that the style of writing was most used. I will use this website to compare the popular style of the era and the writing of the author from that time period. Using this website to check the author and their era, I will be able to more accurately document how styles might change over time (disregarding an author’s personal taste, to an extent). This is a reliable source because it was put together by an English teacher from Wenatchee High School.