Write To Your Strengths

When you’re a writer, you love writing. You’d have to or else you’d choose something else because even though you love it, writing is hard.

Creative. Fulfilling. Soul saving. But hard.

And as a writer, you discover writing a book isn’t all rewards of chocolate, days of café writing fueled by exotic coffee concoctions, or the natural high of finally coming up with the solution to a major plot twist. It’s weeks of being stuck on that plot twist, and days of being tied to your desk, working off a deadline.

Like life, it’s a mixed bag of good and not so good. But in working through that mixed bag, you discover your strengths and weaknesses, and knowing your strengths can help you with both.

Write To Your Strengths

Are you good at dialogue? Make it the star of your scenes. Work in conversations between characters wherever you can (appropriate to the story) and perfect the art of the back and forth. Get tension in there. Reveal a secret. Reveal character traits. Have dialogue so realistic the reader feels as if they’re eavesdropping on two strangers.

Or maybe you aren’t that great at writing dialogue, but you know how to set the scene with image invoking descriptions. Bring the chapters to life with vivid words that make the reader feel like they’re dipping their toes in the salty ocean, or walking the soft path of a moss-covered forest floor.

If dialogue and descriptions aren’t your things, maybe it’s your knack of ending each chapter on a cliffhanger or knowing exactly how to twist the plot unexpectedly.

You might know your strengths because it’s the easiest part of the writing process for you, or because you enjoy it so much. You might discover it thanks to feedback from others (don’t ignore multiple betas telling you that no one writes backstory as seamlessly as you do).

Whatever your writing strength, use it to your advantage. Make it the highlight of your novel and a complement to your other writing skills. You might have to put more effort into those (that’s where the hard part of writing comes in) but that’s how you become not only a writer but a better one.

— K.M. Allan

You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

26 thoughts on “Write To Your Strengths

  1. Great post! Some days, it feels so hard I’m not sure I have strengths–but I’m sure they’ve changed over the years. I know I used to write a lot of dialogue, but I’ve gotten to be much more sparing recently. I think some of it is just changing tastes, and changes in what styles of books I read (and therefore unwittingly borrow for my own writing).

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  2. My strengths are definitely the ending twists. As Harlan Coben said, “I’ve never come across a twist I didn’t like.” As for the suffering of writing, the joy wouldn’t be so grand without the lows of the pain.
    Write Fearlessly

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  3. It’s definitely hard at times! Even the great Ernest Hemingway is quoted, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed.” A bit dark, but I’m sure all of us who love writing know the feeling!

    However, it’s completely worth it. Especially when you find what you are best at, as you say in your article!

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  5. WendyMegget

    Good advice. It’s so easy to try writing like someone else, but it’s hard work. As soon a I write like ME, it all falls into place. I never thought if it in terms of writing to your strengths, and this gives a valuable perspective on it. Thank you. I needed this for my current project.

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