As an author, here is a quick test to see how well that you identify with your own books. List what is your favorite chapter of each tome and why.
Like the rest of humankind, authors are judgmental and partial in their opinions. This includes being far from neutral on their own work. So one or more parts are liked better than others. This may be determined while writing, in the edit phase, or from a careful read after publication.
There may be various reasons for a chapter being a favorite. These include:
A self-contained part that shows the real mettle of the character overcoming a challenge. In the Olivia Plymouth Series this includes when she ran the Boston Marathon
and her family had supportive signs throughout the run. There is also when she coordinates a fashion show in Africa and meets her favorite singer.
The techniques used in that collection of words. The story “Going Down with the Ship” in Small Doses 3 uses receipts as a key plot element.
The satisfaction of having something written down that matches closely to your original vision. In Missing Employees, the introduction to Inscrutable Consulting achieves this.
The thrill of completing the most challenging part of the book to write. In Transitions, “Gain and Loss” was a short but difficult part detailing how to achieve a vague goal.
Achieving the desired outcome of eliciting a certain emotion or reaction from a reader.
Those that open or close a book. In Saving Eddie, the short ending brings the whole book together like the poems of its subject Edgar Allan Poe.
Not every chapter can become a favorite. Those not making the grade typically are chapters that are:
- a recap
- setting up an action but not the action itself
- side plots
- characters doing something ordinary
You get the idea.
It is perfectly fine to have two or free favorite chapters per book. Sometimes decisions cannot be made.
So the next time, you create a book, think which part that you like best and what says about you, your characters, and your work.
Whether you a writer that started young or later in life, you need a way to track your progress.
One way of doing this is a Writer’s Journey’s Roadmap. This can be listed in a table of placed in a graphical format.
Items that you want to include are:
* Writing inspirations and influences (Authors, works, personal and news events)
* Lessons learned from each work (What worked well. What were experiments? What were the challenges? What would you do differently now based on hindsight?)
* Techniques used (Style, genres, words, characters, plots, locations, etc.)
* Future challenges (What do you really want to be good at ? What would be a fun work to write?
By doing this, you can see your writing career or ant-career at a glance on one paper.
I would be interested in hearing how doing this worked for you.