Writing challenge! 7 things about my writing…

Here’s a simple, fun challenge for a Sunday: list 7 things about your writing. You can use the examples below or do your own. Have fun, get creative, go crazy. And be honest; we all might learn something!

I can think of seven, no prob.
I can think of seven, no prob.

Post yours here as a reply and then copy it to your own blog with a link to this one! Then Tweet, post, share! Thanks!

1) My books start as… (What do you like in an opening line? How do you like to start your stories?)

2) I am an (insert genre or style here) writer. Explain.

3) I do/do not write from an outline. (What is this outline of which you speak?)

4) I use notes to… (Notes? What are notes?)

I was sick that day at writing school!
I was sick that day at writing school!

5) My characters come from… (Hamlet? My friend and family? They’re secretly all me?)

6) When it comes to dialog… (Are you good at it? Bad at it? How do you come up with what your characters will say?)

7) I write because I want to/I’m trying to… (Escape? Work out my demons before someone gets hurt?)

My therapist says writing is good for me.
My therapist says writing is good for me.


1) I like to start a book with an urgent, short piece of dialog. I’m told that creates confusion, but I disagree, and I doubt I will stop doing it. My new book begins with “Daddy?” – come on, how confusing is that? The next line explains that it’s a 4 year old girl who is interrupting her father while he’s shaving. Where’s the confusion? (This may be my rebellious streak.)

2) I’m trying my hand at each different genre, which sounds insane, but I am learning from each (including romance – shudder), and I believe very few good stories are just horror or just mystery; they contain some elements of each genre but have one main focus. So if I can write decent stories in each genre, my overall books should be better, right? Let’s hope so!

3) Outline? Nope, no outline. Not really. I start with a cool idea and what would be interesting scenes, which I go ahead and write – but there eventually has to be a cohesive layout, so I jot down my main plot points: archaeology students discover an area lost in time for 10,000 years. They are amazed at the ancient, living civilization. The inhabitants won’t let them leave once they’ve seen the place, for fear that others will come and destroy it. The students have to flee… So that’s kind of an outline, right?

4) I wish used notes more. I create a cheat sheet so I can remember the MC’s wife’s name, and who the evil power company executive is, but usually not much more than that. I have a folder full of ideas for scenes in that story instead, some of which get used but many do not.

5) In one story all the main characters were secretly me! Well, a few were made up. I create composite characters from bits and pieces of real life, but they’re largely made up people. Except the ones that are secretly me.

6) I’m pretty good at dialog. I love witty banter in books and movies, and try to move my story along through the dialog. I try to write the way people really speak, but in real life my personal vocabulary sounds a little lofty at times, so when a character says what I actually have said, it can sound fake. Also, I’m casual about a lot of rules because I wrote a lot of family humor books; as a result, some characters come off as immature. So I’m lofty and immature? Probably.

Well, maybe that last one...
I can finish that report OR work on my chase scene…

7) I write for fun, not so much for escape. I get a kick out of taking you down a new road and surprising you or making you laugh or cry. It’s fun for me.

NOW post your 7 here as a reply and then copy it to your own blog with a link to this one! Then Tweet, post, share! Thanks!



Enjoy more of my writing brilliance on my Author Page HERE http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

and find out about the release of my new book “25 Great eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew” by emailing me at savvystories@outlook.com and I’ll let you know when you can get a free advance copy! Shh! Don’t tell.

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

3 thoughts on “Writing challenge! 7 things about my writing…

  1. 1) My books start right before (like, minutes before) or immediately after something changed for the character. I’ve been working on getting the inciting incident to occur on page 1.

    2) I am a mystery/suspense/YA writer. I read every Nancy Drew there was when I was a kid, most of Grisham’s stuff as an adult (among many other novels), and I enjoy reading and writing YA. Maybe it reminds me of the good parts about being a teen – and maybe the not so good parts too.

    3) I do write from an outline – sort of. The major points are there.

    4) I use notes to… is this part of an outline? Sure, let’s call it that. I use notes to keep track of research, usually.

    5) My characters come from thin air. Seriously. Though one of my characters in The Fourth Descendant was Lady MacBething pretty hard.

    6) When it comes to dialogue, I try to stick to what sounds natural – short, punchy, with minimal use of tags. I’ve been told I have a good ear for it. But my Spanish professor in college said I had a good ear for the language too, and I’m pretty sure it was meant to be a balm because I didn’t understand much else about Spanish. I’m gonna pretend it’s a compliment in this case.

    7) I write because I’m trying to tell a decent story. That’s it. It’s fun.

    1. Great points, Allison! I think no writers like to admit they use an outline because it denotes much more structure and detail than we actually think we bring to a project. And I can see in your writings #1 being more and more true – and most writing would be the better for doing that.

      I have to say, I use notes the way you described, too. I do some research and compile a ton of info I can go back and refer to. Very helpful.

      And your #7, Trying to tell a decent story. Excellent point. After all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

  2. Oh, I’m so late to the party. Can I still play, though? I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a while on my blog, and it’d be cool to do as part of a challenge. 🙂

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