The Writer’s Recipe

Credit book image: GraphicStock

If no two reader reads the same book, then no two writers writes the same book.

With all the veritable creative writing tips out there on how to write a novel, why is it so hard to write? Can it be as it is an arduous process you often have to do alone? That writers will lose their morale and give up? That we begin to doubt ourselves and wonder if we’ll ever write like Nikki Giovanni or Maya Angelou. Or like John Grisham or John Steinbeck. Like J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin.

No matter how many writing advice given and followed by other writers, how can we stand out from the crowd? In “What You Talkin Bout Genre?,” I stressed the importance about knowing the genre you’re writing in. To know your genre you should read similar works and following its particular writing formula. That is step one in writing effectively for your specific genre. Step two is studying your own writing and figuring out your writing style.

This will help you in the long run when you create your book proposal. A publisher needs to see how your book or series is not only alike to the other novels published in your genre bracket. But how it is different as well. Finding your writing style is the key to making your work stand out. Your writing style is an incorporation of everything that makes you you. So study and compare your writing. Don’t focus on what makes it worse or better. And hone in on it.

How? By creating your own writing recipe. Say they’re a 1,001 recipes for mac n cheese  and you give a Rachel Ray recipe to two people. One follows it exactly but it doesn’t taste the way they’d like it. The other made some substitutions in the recipe. They followed their own taste preference, and it came out better than they dreamed. Why?

Writing is the same way. You can choose what advice (writing ingredients) to follow based on what works best for you as  a writer. Then insert your own flavor into your fiction. Follow the criteria. Deviate and reinvent. Make it your own.

Food for Thought: As a writer we must recognize, appreciate and love our own writing. Yes, we can love and admire other writers but we can’t bemoan that we can’t write like them. We can only write as ourselves. So go back and read you work. Then ask yourself, what kind of writer are you? What do you like about your writing? And how can you maximize on that.

Credit image: iAuthor


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