Integrating the Styles of Famous Authors into Your Unique Voice

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6 Min Read

We all have famous authors we look up to and whose work we admire. And it’s not uncommon to look at what they do so well and think, “Man, I wish I could write like ‘insert your favorite author.'” Well, good news: You can, and that’s what we’ll be covering today: how to write like your favorite author.

Of course, there are two issues: First, we don’t want to rip off the people we look up to. And next, it feels like we can’t all be Hemmingway, can we? Today, I’ll show you how to write like your favorite famous author and use their style in an original way that will allow you to integrate it into your own unique voice. This is an exciting one, so let’s get started.

How To Write Like Your Favorite Author

Countless amazing authors have penned some genuinely amazing things. Regardless of which writer is your favorite, there are undoubtedly some from whom you wish you could borrow some style. But when we try to copy what they do directly and apply it to our work, it can feel unoriginal and lack our unique voice.

That said, when we’re down on ourselves, it feels like these prolific writers have some secret sauce that puts them miles above the rest of us. While they are undoubtedly talented, this isn’t usually the case. Instead, we more realistically don’t fully understand what makes their writing what it is.

And I know what you’re probably thinking, “I’ve read The Lord of the Rings 1000 times and studied every line, and I’m still no Tolkien.” That’s because reading their work, even from an analytical point of view, doesn’t do the trick. Instead of reading their style, we’ve got to literally write it. Let me elaborate.

Copy Your Favorite Author Word For Word

Yep, you read that right. The key to truly absorbing the work of the person you want to emulate is transcribing their writing word for word, coma for coma, and period for period. Famously, Hunter S. Thompson did this exact thing when he copied The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald) and A Farewell To Arms (Ernest Hemingway) in their entirety to “understand the rhythm and structure of their writing styles.”

While Hunter S. Thompson was a bit of a maniac, he was onto something with this unconventional idea. It works the way he’d hoped and can work for you, too.

Why Copying Works

Some cool things happen when you copy someone’s work and physically rewrite it. When you type a novel, you are forced to consider things you don’t have to when reading, like punctuation, word choice, and other minute details that get glossed over when reading.

As you type, you’ll also start to pick up on stylistic choices, like how the author conveys thoughts. Do they give details only from their perspective or from the characters as well? You can pick up on some amount of stylistic elements like this when doing a close read but not nearly as much as transcribing.

You May Also Like: How To Write Like Stephen King (And Still Be Unique)

Next, it can be great for the confidence. Becoming the author you wish to emulate allows us to view the work from an entirely new perspective. When we write original work, we have it under a microscope and are aware of even the most minor things because they’re all choices we have to make as the writer.

When you begin viewing a story you admire on the same level you view your own work, I find that it seems much more attainable. While it becomes no less impressive, you get a feel for the factors under the surface that make the story what it is instead of a “masterpiece” finished product.

The Results

Now that you know how to absorb the style of any author you choose, let’s talk about the results. In my experience (copying Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk), you don’t have to try to consciously apply the things you pick up. What do I mean by that?

After a few days of transcribing (and writing my stuff during this period), I noticed Palahniuk-esque elements in my work. Now, it’s possible some of these things were present in my writing even before the copying. But if that’s the case, the copying certainly made me more aware of them.

Not only was this really cool to see, but it was also surprisingly effortless. You don’t have to sit back while writing and think, “Shakespeare usually puts a coma here,” or “Stephen King would write this like this” it kinda just happens, which is how you maintain your unique voice.

You can check out this YouTube video for a breakdown of someone else’s results copying A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martain.

Video By John Writing

How Long Should You Do This?

How long you should do this is really up to you and depends on what you’re copying. For example, Fight Club is short, and I pretty quickly copied the whole book. If you’re doing a really long copy, you can surely achieve much of the same benefit even if you stop short of the final page.

In the reference video above, using A Game of Thrones, he copied one hour daily for about a week and saw some excellent results. That said, you can probably also choose specific passages you like and copy those if you don’t want to do an entire book.


I love this copy method for a few reasons. It’s practical and a nice change of pace from simply trying to do close reads and highlight sections. Even when reading with the utmost focus, it’s much easier to absorb details when writing than reading alone. Finally, the fact that this is “one size fits all” advice for emulating your favorite author, whoever they may be.

This method will work regardless of whether you’re trying to write like Virginia Wolfe, J.R.R. Tolkien, or Jane Austen. There aren’t many universal concepts for naturally ingraining such unique (and differing) styles into your work, allowing you to take what other authors do best and use it without ripping them off.

So, I highly recommend you try this out method for writing like your favorite famous author. If you do, comment below and let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

At LivingWriter, we believe that great writing is about more than just putting words on a page – it’s about crafting a story, screenplay, or research paper that resonates with your readers.