Identifying Your Writing Strengths, step 1.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about what makes a person unique as a writer. I'm trying to figure out what I'm passionate about, but I'm also trying to identify the things I put in my stories that are uniquely ME. What aspects of storytelling am I good at? And more importantly, why?

As I have done since I was a little kid, I turned to my books for answers.

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In his book No Plot? No Problem! Chris Baty talks about making a "wish list" of all thing things you love to see in books. The rational behind the wish list is that what you love, you also understand. And what you understand, you will be able to do well.

(For example, I HATE books where people fall in love on the basis of nothing but ferocious physical attraction. I find that sort of thing wildly unbelievable, and so if you asked me to write a love-at-first-sight story, I would suck at it. Other people do not suck at it, in fact a lot of successful romance authors make a living selling well-written stories in just that line. I will never be one of them. And I'm okay with that.)

So when I started doing all this thinking about passions and what makes a unique storyteller, I started taking a good hard look at the books I love.

And I mean the ones I LOVE. The comfort reads. The books I get lost in, no matter how many times I've read them. The ones I can read over and over again and still reach for when nothing else is making me happy. The ones that get shabby from living in purses and backpacks, the ones that get wrinkled from bathwater steam.

You know. Those books.

This weekend, those books were some of the Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey and a whole mess of Tamora Pierce.

So that's step one, identify the books you love. We'll talk about step two on Wednesday, but until then what do YOU love?

Which books are those books for you?

1 comment:

  1. I just found a new favorite--The Tombs of Atuan by LeGuin. What a breath of fresh air after wading through 1000s of pages of grimdark. Man, but some of the commenters' favorites make me feel old, though!


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