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Tip Tuesday #55

Tuesday already?  I'm still trying to figure out where last week went!  Anyway, I have a tip from a new contributor today, Morgan Kyser.  Thanks for sending a tip in, Morgan!  Everyone, please give her site a visit.  I've been enjoying her blog. 

One of the tricks of writing, at least for me, is finding out what you're good at and zeroing in on it. The most significant way of doing this is by figuring out what drives your stories: plot, setting or characters. Once you've picked one or two, focus on them. Of course, a book can have outstanding characters, plot, and setting, but that's quite uncommon. Usually a writer excels at one or two things and may struggle with the rest. Think of Harry Potter. The main characters are fairly simplistic, acting as mere vessels for the setting and plot, and that's fine! People still enjoy the story and love getting lost in that world, because Rowling focused on what she was best at.

So if you're great at setting and plot like Rowling, don't be afraid to world-build to your heart's content. And if you can't ever get your characters out of your head, by all means, let them take the lead. A good writer can make something work, even if one aspect is lacking. Do what you're good at. The rest will come, and if it doesn't, it can always be worked on with beta-readers or during your first re-reading. When writing out the first draft of a story, focusing on what you're good at can make it easier to keep going and finally get the full story out.

Great tip, Morgan!  I like the idea of focusing on what drives the story.  That seems to be a good indicator of where a given writer's strengths lie, the part that comes most naturally. 


Chris Phillips said...

Good post. I've always thought that you should write the first couple drafts to your strengths and revise to your weaknesses.

Anonymous said...

Very nice. Thanks!!

Beth said...

Great tip, Morgan. And I love the example you gave. While character-driven books are usually my favorites, I love Rowling's way with plot.

Morgan said...

I'm glad my tip was helpful!

LTM said...

yay, Morgan! You rule--and this is a great tip~ :o)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wonderful tip! Thanks to both of you, Morgan and Casey. :-)

Rachael Harrie said...

What a great tip! Will definitely be concentrating on this as I write.

Missed Periods said...

That is good advice. And it makes it all seem less intimidating.

Casey McCormick said...

It was definitely a great tip. Thanks Morgan! Thanks for commenting, everyone.