It’s pretty easy, especially if you haven’t written in a while, to lose how “you write”. People generally develop styles or ways of writing that they use for fiction that are generally very different from how they write academic papers. This is by necessity: academic papers are by definition stylistically different from prose. There are a pieces of advice that I have to find/re-find the way you write.
Read it out loud. A lot of times, if it sounds weird to you out loud, it isn’t reading well. That can be difficult to see, however, on paper, because the words will end up blurring together. This is doubly true for something that you wrote yourself.
This is generally considered a good idea for anything you write, fiction or academic. Read it to yourself out loud, and have at least one or two other people read it over. This might be hard for you, depending on how you view your writing, but it can be incredibly useful to catch both awkward wording and grammatical mistakes.
Try a number of different styles. Force yourself to write in a number of incredibly different styles. These styles should be as opposite from each other as you can get them: purple prose, action-only, dialogue-only, past tense, present tense, first person, second person, third person. See which one or ones works. That’s probably your style, or close to it. If none of them feel exactly right, see which one or ones feel the closest and go from there.
Write a lot. Force yourself to write a lot. Write every day. If you write one hundred words a day without forcing it to look any particular way or to be good, you will eventually end up with the way that you like to write. It might be a lot of work, but writing seriously always is.
Try a number of different lengths of story. You might find that the way that you write is different between short stories and novel-length stories. You are allowed to have more than one style of writing, and if you work on different stories of different lengths, you will be able to see how you tend to write for each type.
Look at your old work. If you’re really stuck, look at your old writing. While your writing style and ability has almost inevitably changed from that point, it’ll at least give you a starting point, something to build off of.
Remember that you are not dedicated to one style or way of writing. Write what makes you happy. If you don’t like how something sounds, change it. If you can’t figure out how to change it, start something new. Eventually, you’ll figure out how you like to write and what sounds best, and you can work on that. You can also always experiment with new styles and ways of writing.
This is not your destruction.
This is your birth."
One of my favorite writing reference sheets on the internet.
a girl’s feet will tangle yours under sheets you just bought for a night like this. the price tag is still glued to the plastic wrapping stuffed underneath the bed. her feet are frigid and feel like frostbite against your legs when you fall asleep, but they’re like mittens roasted over a fire when the sun blinks through the curtains.
a girl’s legs are taut and thick. they’re flexible and enclose you in a straightjacket at 2 am when they knot around your waist and pull you just a little closer. if she’s still sleeping, it’s even better.
her thighs will make you forget about your calculus homework and your french exam. they will make you forget about your father’s affair or your best friend’s disorders. they will make you forget your name and they will make you forget who you are without them. hold them as tight as you can. i promise, she loves it.
when you were in fourth grade, they taught you stop, drop, and roll at the sign of a fire. when you’re in her bedroom on the second floor, her quivering hips will trick-start a similar fire in your teeth, and you’re going to want to listen to your fourth grade teacher, but don’t. if you stop, whatever it may be that you’re doing, she might kill you.
so in health class, they’re supposed to teach you that your hands will never fit somewhere like they will on a girl’s waist. it doesn’t matter if it’s wide and soft, or small and hard. your hands will adapt to her waist like the heart to your blood. they’ll feel as natural as fingers on an instrument.
sometimes you can see her ribs; sometimes you can’t. they flicker like an old grainy movie under her skin, and they feel like sharp magma in your palms. they’re structure — they protect her. hold her there if you want her to feel like this house isn’t caving in on herself.
her chest. promise her you’d never want anything more or anything less. if you don’t mean it, stop reading, and find someone else.
taste her collarbone. dip in the crevices and valleys and plant trees at the bottom. root down, cherish the nature, and never ever underestimate a girl’s collarbones. they’re a place to sleep when its -11 outside. write scripts on her collarbone. they are forever.
if you don’t know blueprints to her neck with your eyes closed from tracing it with your mouth, you’re doing it wrong. learn it. memorize it. you better know her pulse like counting with your dominant hand. kiss it like it’s her mouth. her neck will change over time, yes. but make sure you can change with it.
kiss her before she brushes her teeth. make fun of her morning breath. kiss her after, and make fun of the flavor of her toothpaste. kiss her when she’s angry and throwing the vase your mother bought her, and kiss her when she can’t stand and she bubbles over with tears like hot water. kiss her if she’s laughing and tell her it’s because she makes you happy. kiss her if she won’t stop talking because you want to taste her voice. kiss her when she isn’t talking because you miss it. kiss her in the shower and kiss her everywhere. if it’s raining, kiss her, and kiss her again when she calls you a cliche. kiss her in public because you want them all to know, and kiss her in private because you don’t need them to either. god, just kiss her on the mouth. nothing else matters. just fucking kiss her.