A few weeks ago I helped Gabriela launch a new quiz for DIY MFA called “What’s Your Storytelling Superpower?” Basically, you take this personality quiz, and based on your responses we tell you what kind of story you’d be good at writing. I don’t know about you, but I’ve taken plenty of online quizzes before. It’s fun to read about yourself and decide whether or not you agree with what the quiz creator ascertains about you from your answers.
In the case of the Storytelling Superpower Quiz, you get a huge bonus, though. Not only do you get to read about yourself and the kinds of characters you like, but you get insight into how to target what kind of story you should write of the literally thousands of ideas that are floating around in your head (that’s not just me, right?).
Here are five more reasons why you should harness your storytelling superpower.
1) You’ll Get to the Heart of the Story Faster
Knowing the type of story you’re telling helps you to cut to the chase, to find your way to your story’s heart. You’ll be able to see which scenes or characters are causing a distraction and which ones support your story’s main theme and tap into the lifeblood of the story.
2) You’ll Understand your Main Character Better
When you know who your character is at her core (an underdog, a disruptor, a protector, a survivor) you can identify the reasons she does things, how she reacts in any given situation, and what she wants most. Not only will this help your character stay consistent throughout, but it will give you a clearer picture of her overall character arc and how her goals change as the story progresses.
3) You’ll Find More Opportunities to Create Conflict
A story without conflict is no story at all. By nature, your character’s archetype invites certain types of conflict. Have you tapped all of them yet? Knowing what kind of story you’re telling will help you find opportunities create compelling conflict, the kind that will keep your readers flipping pages to find out what happens next.
4) You’ll Learn How to Delight Your Readers
And speaking of readers! Just as you are drawn to write certain types of stories, readers gravitate toward certain types of books. When you’re sure what kind of story you’re writing, fulfilling your readers’ expectations is a piece of cake. Tap into your storytelling superpower and write the best (underdog, disruptor, protector, survivor) story you can tell. Leave your readers clamoring for more!
5) You’ll Have More Fun
Let’s face it, this is what it’s all about, right? Sure you write because you “have to” or because you have a story that’s just bursting to be told. But if you’re writing a story that you like, one where you understand your character (dare I say empathize with them?) and are eager to show what happens next, doesn’t that just make the task of telling the story all the sweeter?
This quiz is just the first step toward unlocking your full storytelling potential. Once you get a clear understanding of the character archetypes and story tropes that go with your particular superpower, you can learn how to enhance them and even break them, which will help you to really own your story and make it shine.
So go! Take the Storytelling Superpower Quiz. Then come back here and let us know in the comments what you think of your results.
Elisabeth Kauffman is a freelance editor in California. Her favorite genres are YA fantasy, sci-fi, and romance. She regularly obsesses over board games, Doctor Who, and Harry Potter. Come share your ideas with her on Facebook and Twitter and on the web at www.writingrefinery.com. Also, check out her author website:www.elisabethkauffman.com and her author page on Facebook.