Welcome to Insecure Writers Support Group, a monthly blog hop for writers across all genres to encourage one another. Check out the #IWSG tag on twitter, or the Facebook group.
I saw this quote on the IWSG blog today and it struck me:
All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.
– Ernest Hemingway
I attended a writing workshop a few weeks ago with longtime literary agent and writer Donald Maass where he said essentially the same thing. What impacts you as a reader? What books are unforgettable? Which characters resonate with you? Likely they aren't generic stories with bland characters and little emotion. Even a plot-driven thriller novel that doesn't delve into character development still evokes a feeling in the reader. It may not be the character's "gut twisting with anticipation," but YOUR gut twists because the words on the page evoke that terror, or apprehension from you. It's fiction that transports you and leaves a lasting impression.
What I like about Maass' approach is how he agrees there are many avenues to writing fiction that excels. There is no one formula or magic answer that will sell your books.
Writing what you care about is a huge start. Even if you're writing a fantasy world on another planet, by bringing universal themes and real-world parallels into your fiction brings writing to another level. Playing on fears, desires, longings, all of these things can shape memorable characters and emotional journeys for the reader.
What makes a book or character memorable to you?
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