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I noticed writers in the past used a different format, in terms of punctuation, indentation, quotations, spacing, and paragraph length, and the format can be different from author to author and from book to book. So I was wondering if there was a sort of resource book that details all the styles people adopted. The reason I want a book like this is that it can really be fun to change your formatting style and writing style.

  • I did a light edit on your question (and shortened the title). I also added the formatting tag, since you mention formatting several times. But I want to be sure I understood you correctly. Do you mean things like font, placement on a page, use of indentations, and how to do lists? Is this about printing books? Thanks. – Cyn says make Monica whole Aug 3 '19 at 16:09
  • more about writing style, like using punctuation, indentations, what type of quote, spacing, paragraph length, etc. – blackbird Aug 3 '19 at 16:30
  • That helps, thanks. I am keeping formatting, because some of what you mention is actual formatting, and adding style. Could you please edit the original question to include your clarification? – Cyn says make Monica whole Aug 3 '19 at 16:32
  • This is an interesting question, and it would be really cool if such a book existed, but it seems that it would be prohibitively inclusive and research-intensive. Would you be satisfied with several sources with narrower scopes? – wordsworth Aug 4 '19 at 0:29
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I haven't been able to find a book, per se, but I have found a couple of resources that might work for your other request be being able to adopt someone else's writing style. I did a Google search on: "history of" "writing styles"; "history of" "writing styles" book.

Here are some of the results that seem to fit your wishes best.

A writer’s most prized possession is his or her own unique writing style.

https://www.freelancewriting.com/creative-writing/writing-style/

Famous Authors and Their Writing Styles

https://www.craftyourcontent.com/famous-authors-writing-styles/

How have authors' writing styles changed in the last few centuries?

https://www.quora.com/How-have-authors-writing-styles-changed-in-the-last-few-centuries

The Quora page has links to similar questions, so maybe you can find something there.

The only books I could find were about writing materials, history of languages, type of communication (including animal communication), and nothing that remotely came close to describing the how/why Shakespeare is different than J. K. Rowling, let alone how to duplicate the styles.

It seems to me this would be an obvious book to have written, since it's a book about writers for writers, yet I can't find it, nor can the 70+ other people who looked at this question. I'm not a writer, but I do a lot of online research, so I thought I would be able to come up with something better.

I know a couple of writers, so I'll ask them offline and see if they know of anything. If they do, I'll update this answer.

Edit:

I got some hits from the writers I know.

"Writer's Guide: History", By Henry J. Steffen and Mary Jane Dickerson
https://www.amazon.com/Writers-Guide-History-Writing-Curriculum/dp/0669120022

"On Writing", by Stephen King
https://www.amazon.com/Writing-10th-Anniversary-Memoir-Craft/dp/1439156816

Disclaimer: I haven't read either book, so I don't know if it's what you're looking for. Links provided only for further context, not purchase or retailer suggestions.

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