March Writing Prompt: Emulate Someone You Love (or Hate)

written by Mikaela Cowles on March 8, 2018 in Writing Prompt with no comments


Does it seem like everytime you start putting down your thoughts it just sounds like *$@%? It takes writers years to develop their voice. And even then, they’re typically influenced by other writers.

Remember, imitation is the best form of flattery. This month, put that saying to work.

March Writing Prompt: Emulate Someone You Love (or Hate)

Pick a writer you like and try writing a few sentences in their style. For example, take a signature line from Leo Tolstoy or Fyodor Dostoevsky. While keeping the sentence structure intact, pluck out all the nouns and verbs. Replace them with your own.

I often do this exercise with current writers. Molly Wizenberg is a favorite. I love all things from the New York Times 36 Hour series. You can often find fabulous opening lines on My Name is Yeh.  

Round 1

The opening blurb from ‘36 Hours in Sao Paulo’ by Seth Kugel, ‘The city’s treasures lie just below the surface: world-class restaurants, Brazil-class music and an ever-ebullient arts scene.’

  • Rewrite 1: The family’s strength lies just below the surface: a history of talented athletes, recipes passed down through generations, and an ever-abundant love for game night.
  • Rewrite 2: The house’s beauty rests on beautiful history: smiling children, leisurely brunches, and holidays filled with laughter.

Round 2

The opening blurb from ‘RECIPE: WHOLE WHEAT TAHINI MUFFINS WITH PISTACHIO HALVAH (DAIRY FREE)’ on My Name is Yeh, ‘there is really no such thing as too much halvah and i have proven it.’

  • Rewrite 1: There is really no such thing as too much dancing and I have proven it.
  • Rewrite 2:  There is really no such thing as too much coffee and I have proven it.

Please Note: Don’t place these lines directly into your own writing. That’s like claiming you invented pasta simply because you made it at home. The purpose is to practice emulating another author it to allow their style to seep into your subconscious and helps strengthen your own voice.


Be Sociable, Share!