Thursday, March 3, 2011

What does your writing say about you?

I’m not sure if there’s been any scientific studies done, but I think what a writer writes and writes well says a lot about that writer as a person. For this post, I'm not talking about genres like suspense or historicals or romance. I mean what part of writing comes easiest for each of us.

Is it description? Setting? Characterization? Plotting?

If you want to get published in today's market, you better be good at all of those and more. But most of us shine a little bit more in a particular area.

My favorite thing to write during any project is Dialog. And I happen to think I'm pretty good at it. That's probably why I like to write it most. My publisher tells me it's my strong suit. Reviewers have written that it brings my characters to life. I believe the reason I enjoy writing dialog so well is because I’m a good listener. Ask any of my friends. Being a good listener makes writing dialog second nature. I hear inflections, insinuations, personalities revealed, and what the speaker says in what they don’t say, possibly more than the average person.

Think a moment about today's contemporary Christian songwriters. Some songs topping the charts today are like listening to a mini-sermon. Others are inspiring, encouraging, vignettes on modern problems, or just plain worshipful. All of which are necessary and a beautiful part of the tapestry that makes up Christian music.

What does what you write--or how you write it--say about you? Do your settings resonate with readers who've never visited a medieval castle or the Ozark mountains? Can you make a reader weep for joy or laugh out loud? Does your plot make your reader grip the edge of his seat in anticipation of the next twist?

Think about it for a moment and then share here. Where do you shine and what does it say about you? Or what would you like it to say about you?

Happy Writing!


Cecelia Dowdy said...

Hi, Molly
I think, with me, it's characters? I've been told that I create good, vivid characters. I try and make my characters have issues that I'm passionate about, that gives the story momentum to go full steam ahead, giving me the gumption to finish the book.

Cecelia said...

Sorry about that, I meant, Hi, Teresa! I'm tired and it's early! I called you MOlly instead of Teresa in my earlier comment!

Molly Noble Bull said...

Hi Teresa and Cecelia,
When I started writing, people said my writing style was my best suit, but I'm not sure what category that would be in. But clearly, plotting was hard for me from day one. So I really worked on that element.
To be successful, I think we must work on the things that are hardest for us. That also holds true in our Christian lives. Work on the problems first and overcome them.

Teresa Slack said...

Right, Molly. Work on our weaknesses and our strengths will become stronger. At least I hope so. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Margo Carmichael said...

I've been told I write good, real characters and dialogue. Guess that's because I'm a chatterbox. LOL

Anonymous said...

I suppose if we write, we must have something we want to say, and if we say it, then that writing says something about us. I've always been scared to ask what mine says about me!