Jack of All Trades or Master of One

“Third person isn’t my thing. I like first person narration.” Laurell K. Hamilton

Since I’ve been enamored with all things Laurell K. Hamilton lately, I decided to watch some videos of her on youtube. In one, she gave the statement above. It kind of implied that she sticks with what she likes best and that got me to thinking. Most of the writing teachers I’ve encountered, books I’ve read, even other writers I talk with all recommend the same thing. That is, work hard, learn every aspect of craft. But here’s a highly successful, talented author who doesn’t bother with what doesn’t ring her bell. Now I’m sure LKH could crank out excellent work in third person if she wanted, but the point is she doesn’t want to.

Some writers are just better at certain things than others. One of my friends writes the best descriptions that involve all the senses. They aren’t flowery, but they are thorough in way that just feels forced when I try to write that way. My writing is much stronger in pacing and clarity than hers. I know that its important to push yourself and to keep as many tricks of the trade at your disposal as possible. But I’m  starting to see that finding your voice is also about playing to your strong suits as well. Maybe mastering the tools you are most proficient at is a better strategy than taking on ones that don’t feel as natural for the sake knowing it all. Note to self: Be less serious, have more fun.


Posted on January 22, 2011, in Miscellany and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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