Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Your Writing Style: Are You a Lion or a Lamb?

“In like a lion, out like a lamb” Old Saying 

Welcome to March - the month which does march toward spring or toward winter depending on where you live.

Digression: How wonderful to be able to write something which can be read all over the world by just pressing a button - huzzah for the internet.

In the spirit of the old saying at the top of this post, I’ve thought of a few fun ways for you to discover your writing style: Are you a lion or a lamb?

Digression: Please remember that I am the creator of the Writing Sheep, so I may have a slight prejudice.

Sheep #1: That’s not a baaaad thing.
Me: Shhhh. 

You may be a lion writer if…

  • You roar through your drafts.
  • You're male and have long hair.
  • You’re female and you do the killing Hey - that’s me! 
Sheep #2: EXCUSE ME???
Me: Shhhhh.

  • You like to be the boss.
Your writing is wise and powerful. Okay, I admit it. My writing has never been described with those terms. Bring on the sheep. 

Sheep #1: It’s about time.
Me: Shhhhh.

You may be a sheep writer if…

  • You prefer to write around others rather than on your own. Hmmm...sometimes….
  • You are fearful and easily panicked. Isn’t this every writer when they’re facing a blank page? It’s certainly me.
  • You are easily led, but can be very stubborn. Yes.
  • You don’t like getting your hair cut. I don’t often bother - is that the same thing? 
  • You need guidance. If you can define 'guidance' as an outline then yes I do.

Sheep #1: You’re one of us. We always knew it. Carry on.
Me: I shall.

Are you a lion or a lamb? Look at the date. March Forth. It's a sign.

Elspeth Futcher is an author and playwright. Her murder mystery games A Fatal Fairy Tale, Deadly Ever After and Curiouser and Curiouser are among the top-selling mystery games on the Internet. All thirteen of her murder mystery games and two audience-interactive plays are published by Her newest game, Once Upon a Murder, is now available and published by Red Herring Games. Her 'writing sheep' are a continuing feature in the European writers' magazine Elias. Connect with her on Twitter at @elspethwrites or on Facebook at Elspeth Futcher, Author.


  1. Love the sheep. Thanks for letting them come and play here a bit.

    I have a little of the lion and the sheep in me. I do rush through first drafts. I am fearful and need guidance. I just sent a WIP to an editor for an evaluation and developmental guidance and felt like I did the first time I sent a ms to an editor in New York for consideration. So I think you are right, we are always a bit fearful of so many things related to this crazy business of writing.

    1. You're a thespian, Maryann. Like myself. We contain multitudes.

  2. I used that same saying on my blog on Monday. I guess I'm like a lion writer most of the time but once and a while a sheep.

    1. Good for you! Of course, my writing sheep would want a bigger role, but that's just their way.

  3. I don't seem to qualify for either ... is there a third choice? Maybe a llama?

  4. I'm lion in sheep's clothing, maybe?

    1. Ah. Dangerous. Good for you. I'll warn my sheep.

    2. I was going to say that, Diana! Or maybe I'm a sheep in lion's clothing.

    3. Maybe. You'd be warm with all that wool and fur.

  5. I'm having an identity crisis. I don't rush through first drafts--I edit along the way because I'm a pantser and not sure where I'm going all the time. But I'm waiting to hear back from three readers/editors, and I'm anxious. I think I'm a split personality.

  6. Can I be a dog? I'm not sure why, I just think I write like a dog.

  7. Lion or sheep? Hmmm. Can I be a wolf in sheep's clothing? (Sorry, I really like wolves. I've had 2 of them, and they're incredible creatures.)


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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