Standing Out In The Crowd

When I was a teenager I remember wanting to fit in. Look just like everyone else with trendy clothes and perfect hair. We went to ridiculous lengths just to fit in. If you don’t believe me, look at the following list of fashion wonders through the years:

Bell bottoms, bishop sleeve blouses, mohawks, corsets, turtlenecks, rolled neck sweaters, go-go boots, platform sneakers, high tops, shoulder pads, zubaz, parachute pants, spandex suits, plaid pants, balloon pants, bed head hairdo, Bon Jovi perm, beehive hairdo, poodle skirts, etc.

Really, we were all crazy trying to fit in! If you don’t believe me, just ask your kids or a friend’s kids what they think of your high school year book photo. U huh, crazy!

Think you’ve outgrown it? Ever heard of keeping up with the Jones’? We haven’t changed all that much.

So, how do a group of author’s that spent most of their lives trying to fit in, learn to stand out?

You can bet that it will take some purposeful action on our parts.

*First, you learn the craft. The way the craft is accepted in today’s market is where you should start. Learn the rules of craft and your writing will avoid the awkwardness of a beehive hairdo in today’s market.

Some of my favorite writing retreats/conferences:

Deep Thinkers Retreat

Story Crafter’s Retreat

American Christian Fiction Writers Retreat

Great Lakes Get Away

*Don’t try to stand out until you know what is a good way to stand out. It would seem strange if I showed up at the White House for a ball wearing a spandex suit and pink hair.

That is what many authors try to do. They try to stand out without the proper training to be strategic about their originality. They just come off as being uneducated.

*Develop your Voice. Voice is a signature of originality. There is no one else who writes exactly as you do. The combination of word choice, sentence length & structure as well as the types of perspective you bring to writing is your voice.

To develop your voice, spend time journaling and writing freely without concern for craft. Get a feel for this rhythm. That is your voice. Once you are confident in your voice, you can splash it on the page with well honed craft.

*Study your genre. Each genre has a unique flare. Certain things that are important to attract those readers.

*Write down how you are alike and different from other writers in your genre. If you aren’t sure, ask some friends who are experienced writer’s to identify what they think is unique in your writing. Anytime you pitch your novel, you should be prepared to tell what is unique about your writing.

*Develop Original Plots. It is all about the story in the bottom line. If you want to stand out, your story should be unique. Don’t be predictable.

*Network. Go to conferences, start a blog or website. Be active in Social Media like twitter and facebook.

*Be Professional. There is no substitute for professionalism. Not everything we do will be to promote ourselves. Be yourself. Encourage Others. Dress the part. Produce quality proposals, queries, one pages and communication with those in the business.

Other great tips for standing out in a crowd of writer’s I’ve discovered at:

My Book Therapy’s Scrimmage Workshop before the American Christian Fiction Conference Each Year.

Jim Rubart: http://www.jimrubart.com/

What do you do to help your writing stand out?

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About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

4 thoughts on “Standing Out In The Crowd

  1. Study, study, study then apply what you learn! I’ve been to 3 Deep Thinkers and each year I’ve built on what I learned the year before .
    Great post. Oh…btw, Mohawks are back in style.

  2. Michelle Lim says:

    You’re are so right…we continue to study craft no matter where we are at in the journey. As for Mohawks, not surprising…lots of crazy things come back around.

  3. Melissa Tagg says:

    This is great, Michelle. Some of the retreats/conferences you mentioned are my faves!! MBT and ACFW, of course! 🙂

    How do I make my writing stand out? I honestly don’t know. I do think voice is something that helps me…I don’t know how it developed, it just did. I think I’m still learning how to write a plot that stands out.

  4. Michelle Lim says:

    I love the humor of your voice Melissa! I still remember it from Deep Thinkers.

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