Recently my friend Susan at West of Mars gave me a nifty award from the Shameless Lions Writing Circle!
The instructions include mentioning three things necessary to make writing good and powerful. Here are my thoughts:
1. Compelling characters. I like characters who live, breathe, and do. I want to fall in love with a character, and that won't happen if they're endlessly ruminating without actually doing anything.
2. Believable dialogue. When a character's word choice or mode of speaking doesn't sound right, it ruins the credibility of the character and sometimes the entire story. I want to know a character's voice by the words they speak. Great dialogue is such that I would know that character if they came to life and called me on the telephone or whispered in my ear.
3. What I need to know, when I need to know it. Nothing kills forward momentum like a few pages of backstory. Much of what a writer needs to know to accurately portray a character is totally unimportant to the reader. The writers I love tell me only as much as I need to know and only when I need to know it.
Okay, I'm also supposed to pass this award along, but it's been in motion for awhile now and I'm having trouble remembering who has gotten it and who hasn't. I think Thomma hasn't gotten it yet-- a shameful omission, if so. Therefore, if you haven't been awarded the Roar for Powerful Words yet, Thomma, you're it! (And yes, I know I still owe you a meme. I'm so backlogged on these things it isn't even funny.)