“Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.” — HG Wells
Adaptability is a writer’s best friend, but it’s definitely a hard one to develop!
When I started out copywriting/marketing/blogging five years ago, my skills as a writer were fairly limited. I could do one style of content, in one tone of voice, and with just one layout or structure.
Now, years later, I’ve developed my skills as a writer to the point where I can match any tone: formal, informal, informational, dry, comedic, sarcastic, and the list goes on.
In my journey as a novelist and author, I’ve learned that I have to adapt if I want to succeed.
I have started work on a SECRET SIDE PROJECT, set in the same world as The Last Bucelarii books, but following a different character (a woman this time). I participated in a Writer’s Bootcamp between March and September (2015), so created this story specifically for the Bootcamp. In an effort to do something new and different, I changed my writing style to be minimalist and only offer the most important details.
But as the book is going through the editing/revising process, a number of alpha readers have commented on how there is a lack of understanding of and connection to the character. If you’ve read Blade of the Destroyer, you’ve seen what it’s like to live in the character’s head. In this new project, I described everything via narrative rather than getting inside her head.
Of course, now that I’ve heard that there’s a lack of connectivity, I have begun to rewrite and put the reader inside this girl’s head. When I sent the re-drafted version to an alpha reader, they commented on how much easier it was to understand–and thus relate to–the character, and they said the book is MUCH better as a result.
So, adapting leads to improvement, and that’s what being a writer is all about. The more you improve, the better you will become, and the easier it will be to communicate clearly to your readers.
My advice to writers (both new and experienced), and to everyone: Don’t be stuck on one way of doing things. Adapt as needed, and be willing to change things in order to improve. The more you adapt, the higher your chances of success!