6 Ways to Make Your Writing Stand Out So Robots Don’t Replace You
In a previous article, I told you about robot journalists, and how it is totally feasible for large publishing houses to benefit financially from robot written books. If you don’t believe me check out this article on how Professor Phillip Parker has authored over 1 million books.
Trying to get your work into the hands of millions is difficult enough without the risk of robots taking over, so what can you do?
6 Ways to Make Your Writing Stand Out
- Write what you’re good at
I’m not going to write about being an expert marksmen unless someone either decides to hand me a gun and show me how to use it, or someone else tells me everything I need to know about it. If you know about love and heartache, write about that. If you know about football, incorporate that into your story. Readers aren’t idiots. They know immediately if a writer is pretending to be an expert in a field. They know because they picked up your book because they already know something about it, and want to read more. Never try to fool the reader by writing something you think they will like. Write what you know, and write what you’re passionate about. The rest will come.
- Act like a professional
Present your writing in the same way that you would present your resume to a potential employer. Only offer your readers the very best you have. If you don’t, they will know it and will drop your book and move onto the next. Its also important to remember that in the digital age, your online presence is a direct link between you and your readers. Maintain your social media presence in a way that conforms to your writing. If a potential reader stumbles across your blog, or your Facebook page, will they be offended by what you write? Is it in line with the types of writings you produce?
- You’re a student, first and foremost
Research. Research. Research. Always work on developing you craft, on honing your skills. Write. A lot. And then write some more. The only way to fine tune your writing is to keep writing.
- Open with a bang
I do it as a reader, and so do most other readers. We are looking for that initial hook when we crack open the binding of a book for the first time. If I am not hooked in some way by the end of the first chapter, I am putting the book down and moving on. Make sure that you start with some sort of action to engage the reader. They will thank you for it.
- Create larger than life characters
Readers love relatable characters, but they love characters that do what it takes to get the job done. In my opinion, my favorite fantasy author, Brandon Sanderson does this well. He creates characters that are willing to do whatever it takes to reach their goal. But he also keeps them realistic by making sure they are weighted down with equally large and realistic flaws. Take away from this, make your characters large, make them believable and make their flaws just as big.
- Keep the stakes high
Readers are looking for books to take them out of their heads and away from their predictable nine to fives. You need to make sure that you create tension from the start. Put someone in jeopardy, threaten to destroy the earth, or whatever planet you are talking about, and then make those stakes personal to your protagonist. Make your readers care, and make sure your readers care what happens to your protagonist.
Can you answer these questions for your novel?
- What are the stakes in your novel? Why should the reader care what happens?
- Do you have a hook big enough to ensnare your readers?
- If the protagonist does not achieve their goal in the novel, then what happens? Are the consequences ‘big’ enough?
- Are your characters believable?
- Do your character have believable flaws that are large enough to fit their traits?