Sunday, 17 May 2015

X Is For X Factor Of Writing

Day 24 of my A to Z Challenge. X is for X-Factor Of Writing.
If you don't know how this works, I've posted the link back to the rules of the challenge at the end of this, along with a link to yesterday's post. If you want to read my full alphabet, just keep following the links. Each day has a link back to yesterday's post.

X is a hard letter! For most of the other letters, I've had several subjects to choose from, but this one has been a challenge in itself!
Originally, I planned on doing something on the X-Factor TV show - which I do love - but I figured as we are so far past the last series and so far away from the new series it wouldn't be the most exciting post! Anyone who likes the show has seen all the headlines and doesn't need me to re-hash them, and anyone who doesn't like the show probably wouldn't want to read about it.
So it came down to X-rays, or something using the term x-factor in a broader sense.  As I'm currently writing a blog, I went with the x-factor of writing.

What do people mean by the term x-factor? It's that one thing that sets you apart from the crowd. That special something, that while you can never quite put your finger on exactly what it is, you still know when someone has it.
What is the x-factor of writing? What makes a good read? Why are some authors massively successful and others can't even get their work read by publishers or agents?

I would like to say its down to good luck and timing, but I think there has got to be more to it than that. I believe luck plays a small part - an agent just happens to have an opening as you finish your manuscript, for example. But there's got to be more to it than that.

A great writer knows how to use the language beyond basic speech. They make pictures out of words, and music out of syntax. They understand how to use symbolism, and how words can be used in so many different ways. They can write something that shines with personality. That alone is not enough though, or anyone who has studied English would be a best selling author.

A great writer captivates their readers from the first page and holds their attention until the last one. They write characters that are relatable and believable. They have just the right amount of plot twists. They build suspense and know when to reveal the twist - too early and the rest of the book is just words, too late and the reader has lost interest. Their descriptions make you feel like you are really there. You can picture the place as vividly as your own house. You feel the characters emotions with them. Whether you want them to win or lose, you care what happens to them.

And to me that right there is your x-factor moment. When you can combine all of the above elements, and then add a pinch of magic. What is the magic ingredient? If you find out, let me know!

What do you think is the x-factor of writing?

Follow me on Twitter @randommusings29 and feel free to comment :)

Link to rules:

Link to W Is For Writing For Yourself:


  1. For me, I believe it is about truth, honesty and being genuine. You can be genuine and can inspire others- that's what makes the X-factor!

    Angela x

    1. Honesty is a huge part of writing - readers can spot it a mile off if you are being fake!
      Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Ooh interesting! I haven't come across your blog before but I love the idea of your writing challenge and I agree, you've summed up the magic ingredients of good writing perfectly but it's a bit like singing and becoming famous, you just either have it or you don't! X #brilliantblogposts

    1. I totally agree - if it was just a matter of learning the rules we would all have a bestselling novel and a no1 single :) Thank you for stopping by!