It’s back to school time and I was thinking about that cafeteria map from Mean Girls and how it sort of relates to writing. Not the whole labeled cliques thing because we’re all one big, wordy family, but just that there are different types of writers.
Everyone’s got a different way of writing and sometimes people float between two or more groups–just like in school. Here’s the types of writers I’ve noticed:
Purple Proser- Everything they write is beautiful. Magic comes out of their fingers. The story might be mostly description and rambling thoughts but it is the best long-winded poetry ever.
Dialogue-aholic – These people write more like screenwriters, fast-paced and heavy on the dialogue with intermittent description blocks and although you’re left wanting more, you know you love it.
Speed Demon- Or what is more commonly know as pantsers. Once they have an idea ready to write, it needs to be written–there’s no time to waste–so they go for it and with amazing speed.
Turtle Typer- Slow and steady wins the race and that’s a motto all plotters live by. It’s not about rushing to the finish line, but meticulously planning every character, every action and following the outline to a tee.
Class Clown- Funny beyond all reason. Puns, jokes, play-on-words, they’ve mastered it all. The voice drips off the page and you can’t help but laugh from beginning to end.
Love Bird- Need a happily ever after or a good cry? The Love Bird has got you covered. Their romances are so real, so poignant and moving that you fall in love, too.
Scream Queen- These writers can pull off some incredible twists whether they are unexpected villains, or plot shockers, or regular old scare-the-pants-off-you horror, they always seem to have a surprise in store.
Do any more writerly types come to mind? Feel free to share!
I’d always been told to keep it to myself.
Keep it locked away.
What might happen if it fell into the wrong hands? I didn’t want to know. That could be catastrophic. A disaster great enough to dissolve worlds and destroy life as I knew it.
Securing the door–all eight locks–I made sure nothing could escape, no matter how hard it tried. It was mine to protect, mine to hide. The air was thick and musty, like the lingering heaviness after a storm. An unbearable stillness filled the room and the banging from inside the door echoed like long forgotten thunder.
Let me free, it screamed.
I stopped, wondering if anyone was privy to the truth. Did they know what was hidden here?
Behind the door, there were murmurs. It was rowdy and unrelenting, in constant demand of being let loose. The screams and shouts might be muffled, but they still pleaded for attention. Begged for it. All I could do was pretend they were but memories from another time and will myself to forget.
Let me free, it screamed again.
If somehow it was unleashed…Could it be?
I stared, wondering if there was a way to unhinge the locks and let it out as it wished. Perhaps then it wouldn’t yell so much, wouldn’t cry so much, or cause me such worry. But this was earth-shattering, something that could break walls and create them just as easily. Letting it escape wouldn’t be so simple. It would be a challenge unlike any other, too difficult to handle, too much for me to take.
So, I stepped away, letting it’s howl sear into my brain.
I’d keep it locked up like I’d always been told.
Hidden from everyone but me.
I’m a simple girl. I like cats. I like chocolate. I don’t like when plans fall through. But this is publishing, people. Nothing you plan really works out the way you expected. We’ve all been there- assuming or expecting one outcome and then something else entirely happens. Heck, I was supposed to have out-sold JK Rowling by now. But what can you do?
Well, I’ve found the best way to combat exceedingly high expectations or the anticipation of that monumental first leap is to just go with the flow. I know, I know, kind of hippie-dippie but honestly, this has helped curb my writer-crazy considerably. I took a page out of my personal discoveries book and applied it to writer life. Whatever happens, happens. Hakuna matata.
You wrote your wicked awesome novel and now you have to let the world do with it what they will. Sign it, publish it, ridicule it, love it, share it, hate it. Things like this are going to happen regardless of how much you worry about them or not. You did your best, so instead of feeling like you’ve been let down or passed over, just know that everything happens for a reason. Maybe it’s not your time. Or not THE book. And that’s okay.
I get that this philosophy is hard to embrace and sometimes even hard to understand but it’s worked really well for me. That doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced disappointment or plans that fall apart, still. I’m human. I have hopes and dreams and sometimes those things don’t work out like I thought. Sometimes it’s hard to accept. But if you stay true to yourself and your personal and professional goals, everything will turn out right in the end.
So, write what you love, take a deep breath and put it out there for the world to see! You got this
I’m looking for more YA books (all genres welcome!) to add to my TBR and thought in return for any suggestions, I’d give some recs as well. I’ll categorize them by overall mood they provided me but since reading is subjective and everyone experiences books differently you can take that with a grain of salt. With that said, I really enjoyed all of these for one reason or another and I hope you do too!
I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson
Ask the Passengers – AS King
Proxy – Alex London
Leviathan – Scott Westerfield
Far From You – Tess Sharpe
All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven
The 5th Wave – Richard Yancey
Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein
Grasshopper Jungle – Andrew Smith
The Summer I Wasn’t Me – Jessica Verdi
We All Looked Up – Tommy Wallach
Suspense / Shock
We Were Liars – E Lockhart
Naughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman
Vicious – V E. Schwab
If you have a recommendation (or a few!), please feel free to leave it! Happy reading! Or sad reading, or angry reading. Whatever type of reading is fine so long as you’re reading!