Your one 'free trick'?

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Your one 'free trick'?

Mrz. 26, 2019, 7:34am

Inspired by this article, I'm asking the question: as an author, what is your one free trick?
Everyone gets something. Every writer, no matter how green, has at least one thing they’re good at to start off with. It could be character, or prose rhythm, or pacing. Or the instructions to the Plot Machine. (The people who got the instructions to the Plot Machine are very lucky, and I hate them all with a profound envy.) Your One Free Trick is the skill you can build on. The skill you can lean on, while you learn the rest of the craft of being a writer. Thinking about writing craft in this way—as a collection of interlinked skills, some of which you got for free, some of which you have to work for—completely changed how I approached new and hard projects. In a certain sense, this concept let me learn how to write a novel.

Apr. 16, 2019, 5:37pm

Interesting question. I find it easier to think of personal tripwires than my 'one free trick.' i was a poet before writing a novel, and that gave me an affinity for words and phrases that roll smoothly off the tongue. I love (and strive to create) prose with a rhythm that you can almost taste. So I guess I would claim my aversion to clunky sentence structure.

Mai 4, 2019, 4:24am

Interesting indeed. I guess a hazard is relying too heavily on your one trick (comfort zone) at the expense of developing other skills - but then, we all have to start somewhere.

My background involves formal/technical writing, so I'm used to communicating in prose (even if it starts off as functional but ugly prose). I'd like to believe my one free trick is characterisation, especially when my characters' decisions and reactions drive the plot.

Apr. 4, 2020, 1:38pm

For me I think its dialog.

Fortunately it never occurred to me to try write screenplays until very recently, so I was never tempted to rely too completely on my best 'trick'.

I still do write very dialog heavy books. :)

Bearbeitet: Apr. 4, 2020, 1:52pm

For me it's first-person voice. I think I'm good at creating a voice for a character and making it consistent.

Plot is not my strong point, which is probably why I've only ever written short fiction.

Apr. 4, 2020, 5:39pm

I feel at ease writing dialogue. It's my favorite thing.
I also love interjecting character thoughts in a 3rd person narrative. Regardless what's going on, a character may just interject a "Holy shit!" "What the hell?" et al. in italics to let the readers feel they're connected and may be thinking the same thing.

Apr. 5, 2020, 9:06pm

I think this one is really difficult. Between the age of about 13 and 63 I wrote no fiction at all and now I've just jumped in with both feet in the last ten months so I've no real idea if I have any skill or not, I guess I'll find out in due course.

Apr. 6, 2020, 1:49pm

That's funny. I do that too because I'm always filtering my thoughts in real life conversations.