The Writer’s Skill Tree

You writers know the milestones in the writing life: the first idea you have that doesn’t suck, the first time you close the door on your demanding family, the first time you print out your giant doorstop of a manuscript. You learn and grow as time passes, and you make choices about the ways you’d like to develop, then start putting effort into making the changes you want to see.

It’s a difficult and heartrending process… which, naturally, is best reduced to video game metaphors.

When I received an offer of representation, the husband and I naturally had a mini-party to celebrate, and we got to talking about how I’ve now leveled up. Whereas before I was merely master of writing query letters and short synopses for long works, I’ve now moved to the ability to compose pitches for books I’ve not yet written and the power to summon an agent-hero to protect me. And the bosses now? Whoa. They’re terrifying.

So Drew and I cooked up THE WRITER’S SKILL TREE. (Okay, FINE, Drew made it. But I wrote most of the text!)

agented (1)

Why, yes, that’s a picture of me holding my contract!

You can add points to each level, discover what new skill traits open up, and see all the new paths that open with the completion of each level. You can create a writer character that mimics your favorite author, and then share it here with the rest of us!

Disclaimer: You can do these things if you use Chrome, that is. For the moment, the tree will ONLY work in Google Chrome… and if you’re using another browser, you should probably stop that shit anyway, because fast is better than slow.

So if you’re a weirdo who is still using a sub-par browser, you can look at the writer levels and special skills as text below. What levels would you add? Where do you fit into the skill tree? Where do you need to add points? How does your favorite author rank?

I, for example, have achieved the found an agent ranking, but I probably need to put some more points into DIY publishing (aka this blog) and Social Media Darling (aka Twitter).

Without further ado, the levels…

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