We all have Zones of Genius, things we excel at, a variety of mad skills, some of which are learned, hard earned, and others that seem inherent. Of course, we also have areas of opportunity, as well.
Writing Zones of Genius
In my work as a book coach, I work with a variety of writers. Many of my clients come to me at the early stages of their fiction writing journeys. Others have studied the craft and may have published one or more books. While they all come seeking help of one sort or another, they also bring with them a slew of skills. My goal, as a book coach, is to help assess and identify the strengths and areas of opportunities that each of them possess and help them to build on their strengths, and to grow and improve.
Do they have an incredible grasp on plot? Is extensive worldbuilding their strong suit? Are they able to dig deep and reveal profound concepts in a manner that is easily comprehensible? Do they have a deft hand with simile and metaphor?
Once I have identified where the writer is in relation to their writing craft, I can pull from my own learning, experience, and knowledge to support and help them level up their craft/writing no matter where they are on the journey. I help them recognize their own Writing Zones of Genius, the strengths they already have that can be built on. We also work to identify and define their areas of opportunity and find ways to address them. To do this, I tap into my personal Zones of Genius.
Key Book Coaching and Editing Zones of Genius
Some key areas where I excel when it comes to book coaching and editing include:
One of the reasons writers need a keen unbiased eye on their work is to ensure the words on the page convey the intent of the writer. It can be challenging to effectively convey the concepts and ideas that we have in our heads and hearts through the written word. Because the author knows what they meant to say, it can be hard to see if we are missing the mark in transmitting our thoughts.
Having someone who can discern the intent behind the words and identify where the narrative isn’t quite working is a huge help. This is especially important when editing poetry, where every word counts.
Character and Emotion:
All of my fiction is character driven. I often joke that my stories come from the voices in my head. Characters come fully formed into my subconscious and won’t let me alone until I tell their stories.
When I was growing up, some of my best friends were the characters in the stories and books I read. The best characters felt real to me. They still do. Add to this that both as a reader and a writer I feel the stories deeply, and you have a great recipe for someone who can tell when the characters are acting in a way that isn’t true to who they are and/or the emotion isn’t fully on the page. One of my favorite expressions is “Don’t just write what you know, write what you FEEL.”
Language and Voice:
I love words, especially the written word. I have been in love with words since I was a child. I fell in love with poetry early on and my first publishing credits were for poems and short stories.
Word choice and nuanced language can make or break a fictional narrative. When the words or language don’t ring true for the characters and the world, it can throw the reader out of the story.
I have an ear for language. Likely because of having my roots so deeply embedded in poetry where every word and often every syllable must do its fair share of heavy lifting. Thus, my ability to help writers ensure that the language is appropriate to the mood, tone, and emotional resonance of the scene.
Sometimes it’s difficult for us to know where our strengths and weaknesses lie. But when a writer comes to me for editorial and/or book coaching support, we can identify very quickly their Writing Zones of Genius, where they excel and where they struggle. Then I can help them write their strongest, most compelling stories.
What are your Writing Zones of Genius?
For more information on Book Coaching, check put my FAQ page.
If you’re interested in what I write, check out my Author site.
And if you write, or want to write children’s books, give the Coaching KidLit podcast a listen.