As a copywriter, it's important to practise writing in different styles. Not only does it keep you fresh, it's also a lot of fun and you can do it using the book you're reading now.

Use your books to help you practise writing in different styles. Photo: gadl (CC)

Two novel style exercises

Here are a couple of things we enjoy doing to exercise our tone of voice muscles:

1. Write the next chapter

Try writing the next paragraph, page or even chapter of a book you're reading. You've got the characters and the setting prepared for you. And the plot's beginning to form. You should have a feel for the style. So have a go at writing the next chapter in the same way. Then read on and see how different your version is from the real thing.

2. Write a beginning from a brief

You could also try writing the first chapter of a book from a friend's description of it. Ask them to write a sentence or two about their favourite book in the style of the jacket blurb.

For example, they could describe a 'hilarious surrealist take on a Chandleresque private eye in a land of Druids and whelk-stalls' (the Independent's take on Malcolm Pryce's novel Last Tango in Aberystwyth). Working from their brief, try writing the opening of the book in the style they describe.

Practising different styles is good for your copywriting and a lot of fun.

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