Hello world out there world!
When it comes to writing we all have our specialties. Some of us are better at character development, others are great at world building. Just like the Justice League or the Avengers have a variety of superheroes that keep their teams together us writers have our communities to go to for support.
Recently I’ve been going to a writers group and it still amazes me how much talent is out there. There are people in my group that have never written a story but have so much know-how that they could teach a class. There are those – like myself – who have written and published works that share what we’ve learnt about the self-publishing/ traditional-publishing world. We all have something to share, something to learn, and something we are really good at.
I like to think my writing superpowers are character development and foreshadowing. I love creating relationships between characters and love writing pieces that you come to discover are way more important than I originally let on. I think that is due to what I love about reading. I don’t read for the world – one reason I don’t read fantasy books – but I read for the people. Mitch Albom is a great example of an author I will never stop loving. His superpower is to take normal life and make it amazing. He takes pieces like death, mortality, growing up, and purpose and turns it into this epic emotional roller-coaster.
I try my hardest to do that with my books. I know in the fantasy genre it is hard to make it feel real but I hope through my characters I can make the world relatable and the things that happen to them believable.
I think that’s why it is so important to have others read your stories before publishing or self-publishing. Other people have had different life experiences or may have a superpower to contribute to your work.
My editor loves fantasy and has read fantasy for as long as I’ve known him. I am also lucky enough to have grown up with him, so he knows me outside of writing and understands what I want out of my books. When he reads my books he has that background to help establish a more believable fantasy background in my work. He also has a better knowledge of writing rules – that I am slowly starting to grasp – which helps make my writing come across smoother or better written than if I published it without his review.
I have beta-readers who all have strengths in a variety of things. I have a beta-reader that is passionate about description and has amazing skill with showing rather than telling. This helps me immensely since I am a regular teller of stories and rarely show in my work. Their suggestions help me build a work full of visual details that may help the reader see the world than just read about it.
Lastly, I have another set of readers that help with portraying certain information or certain characters correctly. I do not have a background in medicine or herbal healing, so these people are there to make sure I am not writing bull and sending false facts to my readership. This goes with characters with certain backgrounds. I am an ally to the LGBTQ community but I don’t have too many negative experiences of being LGBTQ. My family and friends have been accepting of my choices, my partner is comfortable with my sexuality, I identify with the gender I was born with, and so when I am writing a character who is queer I don’t wish to misrepresent them. That’s why I’m thankful for having readers with a variety of backgrounds willing to help me shape my queer characters appropriately, insuring I don’t perpetuate negative stereotypes that we hear about in other media sources.
It is all right to not be perfect at everything.
Tony Stark isn’t perfect, neither is Batman… and their short comings are easily made up for with other members of their team. So when it comes to your writing your books, short stories, poetry, what-have-you – it is all right to lean on others in your community. It is all right to ask for help when you need it because at the end of the day you have a writing superpower that those people may need you to use for their work one day.