Storytelling Superpower

Being a college graduate is major wish-fulfillment for me because I get to come home from work and write as much as I can instead of doing homework first, like I have done for pretty much my entire life. And it’s glorious. I get to read what I want (no modernism!). I get to write what I want (no papers!). And I love that I’ve been able to see myself make progress in my craft even in just the (almost) year since I graduated.

But I’m still trying to learn more about writing every day. At BYU, I got to take some excellent creative writing classes, and I still miss getting to be in a class with that sense of structure and community from being with other individuals who also want to tell stories. So I am always on the lookout for new things to try even as I’m building up my own set of best writing practices and educational tools.

I recently discovered DIY MFA and figured I would try it out. Admittedly, though, I haven’t been good at keeping up with it. Who has time to open emails about learning to write when there’s actual writing to be done?

I did open one email from DIY MFA this week. It was, embarrassingly, the one with a link to an online quiz that lets you find out your storytelling superpower. To be honest, I don’t know if an online quiz can really tell me what all of my writing strengths are. Something tells me probably not.

But I’m also a sucker for online personality quizzes. And superpowers! And being told what I’m good at as a writer. I don’t have an ego at all.

So I took the quiz and am now dutifully (as they suggested) writing this post to record on my private-one-day-public website what my superpower is.

This is what I got:

Writing Superpower

I laughed when I read this because now that I think about it, most of my main characters in the books I wrote as a kid were “underdogs” in that they were ostracized or disliked by most of their peers/village/kingdom/community/dystopian society. This is a character type I tend to see a lot in YA books I read, and it doesn’t surprise me because when I was a teenager, I was convinced that I was the underdog, and that no one understood me. I’m sure most teens feel that way at one time or another.

But I’m glad I took this quiz because it tells me not only what I do well, but what I do when I’m writing on autopilot. Underdog characters with high aspirations are fine, but I notice that when I’m writing on autopilot, all of my characters, especially my main characters (see above), tend to be too similar. And that’s not what I want.

The Writing Excuses podcast has made 2018 their Year of Character, and while I’ve been following this podcast regularly for a while, this makes me resolve to actually do the weekly exercises so that I don’t fall into the same types of characters in book after book.

I’m pretty pleased with how my cast has turned out for HYBRID so far, but I’ll probably take another look at it to see if it needs some tweaking. After all, not everyone can be the underdog!