My Writing Style

Cover of "Carrie (Special Edition)"
Cover of Carrie (Special Edition)

My Writing Style

Traci Kenworth


This is something I see discussed a lot by other writers: what their style is when it comes to their writing. Finding it. Embracing it. Expanding on it. To be honest, it’s not something I concentrate on. I’m afraid I’ll mess things up too much if I tinker with it. Write what you know, they say. Well, let me let you in on a little secret: life in high school was hell for me. I’m reminded of this as our class reunion was this past weekend. I’m not bitter, or try not to be anyway, but I think who I am as a writer comes out of that experience. You see, I was literally called, “Carrie,” then by most, not all, students.

Coming out of that kind of rejection of your peers really gets down into your gut and colors how you write, I think. I guess, the horror genre and I were just meant to be. It’s hard to write this kind of blog because most people have (I hope) changed since then. They’ve been through the hard knocks of life, like me. Now, I know I’m not alone in the pain of then. Football players (even the mighty quarterbacks), cheerleaders, and the like went through their own ups and downs. I think we’re just all so close to our own emotions we couldn’t see that.

As I look back on those years, you might wonder why I chose to write young adult fiction. Maybe it’s because of the girl who walked those lonely halls, maybe it’s so I can speak to others and help them through the same years, or maybe it’s just because I like seeing a teen challenged by those kinds of circumstances win. The point of all this is, all of the trials of life go into our writing. Who you were, who you are, and who you’re working to become.

None of us is perfect. What I’ve been through doesn’t make me think less of anyone I went to high school with. In fact, there are some who turned out pretty great from our class. What I pour into my writing is what I learned from life. There are bad times and there are good. And the in-between. We struggle and we succeed by holding on to what we’ve learned and pushing ourselves harder.

I used to think if only I could have changed those days but now I’m glad I couldn’t. They give me the strength in my writing, my passion. I try to experience the full-round of emotions in my writing when it comes to my characters. Each are a little part of me. I work hard to make them authentic and as real as I can. But I don’t over-analyze things. I just let the natural flow. I’m comfortable with writing horror. It seems like a long lost friend. And I want it to be like that: comfortable, a warm place to come home to, a pillow for my head.

If this seems like I don’t invite terror into the mix, Lol, don’t be fooled. It’s because of my life that I’m able to draw such monsters into my fiction but it’s also why I’m able to blend the horror with hope. My children taught me how to take back my life, to go on despite tragic circumstances, and to salvage the notion that ugly ducklings do turn into swans. It just takes time. I think that’s what I’m learning when I look at my own writing.

I believe in the inherent goodness in individuals, that we can overcome anything. It takes faith, courage, and perseverance. That message comes across in my “style” I hope. So, if you’re worried about how you’re coming across to your readers, my advice is to not. Let things flow, write from the heart. It will lead you the right way every time.

4 thoughts on “My Writing Style

  1. One of my all-time favorite movies, Traci.
    It’s interesting how some YA writers didn’t have pleasant YA experiences. I hated high school too and wouldn’t wish to relive those days ever again. Maybe that’s why YA fiction appeals to me, so I can relive it the way I choose. Or maybe part of me got stuck in those years, lol. Either way, you’re right, the pain of it makes for amazing stories and awesome characters. 🙂


  2. It wasn’t till I was a senior that I was “introduced” to the popular crowd but by then, my image was set in my mind despite all that came after. One of the girls took pity on me and drew me into that world, I’ll be forever grateful to her but it made me sick, sick how they treated those “beneath” them. It took me years to overcome those scars. I think you’re right: that ya fiction appeals to me, so I can relive high school the way I choose and also that a part of me got stuck in those years.


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