Your diction is, essentially, your voice in writing.
It is how you phrase your sentences and which words you use. Proper diction is paramount in writing, particularly in fiction. There are three traditional types of diction – formal, informal and slang.
Formal diction is, rather obviously, the use of formal, more poetic words. Old English and Shakespearian poetry use formal diction. Here is an example: “Dearest friends, it would be a great honor to spend an evening with thee in celebration of Fredrick’s twenty-fifth birthday.”
Informal diction is more casual and generally used in conversation. Informal diction is also commonly used in the writing of letters, novels or anything with a familiar, conversational tone. An example of this type of diction would be, “Attention, everyone! Fred’s turning twenty-five and we’re celebrating!”
Slang is the use of words that are improper, impolite or overly casual. Slang words are those words that are generally coined by younger generations and commonly used among their peers. “Yo, come to Fred’s birthday party – it’s gonna be tight” is an example of slang.
Understanding how and when to appropriately use these different types of diction will greatly help your writing to flow with ease. Consistent use of diction will also make your work easier for your audience to read. It is important to keep your diction in mind and be deliberate about its use to make your work successful.