Happy Wednesday, friends! How did National Write Your Story Day go? What kinds of things did you write about? Did you share it with anyone? I unfortunately didn’t have a chance to write because I was moving to another state, but if I had, I would have written about the impact that reading and writing has had on my life and the amazing people who helped ignite that passion in me. Even if you didn’t write, I hope you had a chance to think about your story and the value that it has.
In a similar vein, today I want to talk about what kind of writer you are and how to figure it out. Although I’ve been writing for years, I hadn’t figured out what kind of writer I am until recently. I had an idea of my style, but I didn’t have an actual label or term for it. I was taking a book editing course this past Fall and I learned a couple new terms that have stuck with me: Concept Writer, Event Writer, and Image Writer. Has anyone heard these before? Let me break them down:
Concept writers usually develop stories beginning with a single idea. They tend to use digested and detached language; They live in the abstract. These writers condense major moments to a few lines and omit vivid details. Concept writers summarize rather than get specific and often use passive voice.
Event writers inherently love action. These writers thrive on suspense and movement. Event writers would rather omit small events or details in order to get to the big questions of who, what, when, where, and how. These writers tend to find descriptions of setting boring and struggle to write them. They love “showing” versus “telling”. These writers may find themselves at the last page of a mystery before reading the novel from the beginning.
Image writers are poets at heart. They love to evoke the five senses–sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Image writers are often called “lyrical” writers because they love metaphors and symbolism. These writers thrive off of evoking emotion and meaning beyond the conceptual. These writers are often poets and thrive on describing the setting.
I want to be clear that these are general terms that may or may not work for everyone. Some, like myself, may be a mixture of these, or none of them at all. Whatever kind of writer you are is great! Also, here is a great resource if you want learn more about the type of writer you are.
So, what kind of writer am I? I’m definitely an image writer with a little concept writing mixed in. I love the details; I’d rather write one beautifully crafted sentence than have ten mediocre ones. I also live in the abstract of big ideas. Once I figured out that I’m an image and concept writer, I understood where my strengths lie and where I need to spend a little extra time planning and reworking. If you have writer’s block, taking a moment to figure this out may be the best way to know how to move forward. If you’re starting a new piece and don’t know how to start, find out what kind of writer you are. It may give you the simplest of starting points: a concept, an event, or an image.
One step further, it’s clear to me that these terms can even help you figure out what kind of reader you are. Think of your go-to books, the ones you reread over and over again, and ask yourself: what captured you first? Was it a concept, an event, or an image? You’ll probably be able to figure this out on the first page. #BibliophileTip: always read the first page of a book before you buy it. The synopsis may be great, but will the writing style capture you enough to invest your time and money in, or will it drive you nuts within the first chapter?
So, what kind of writer are you? If you’re not a writer, no worries. Then, what kind of reader are you? What kind of writers are your favorite authors?
Happy reading and writing!