What I Like, What I Write, and Why
I've never had a strong 'love of language', and I definitely don't have the skill for writing beautifully (nor the patience to develop it).
I know what beautiful writing looks like, and I can appreciate it when it's used in service of something greater. But it's not me.
No, I like my fiction to be character-driven. Personalities that are strong enough to dominate the story, to the point where you don't care what clothing they're wearing or how sweet their food smelled or how uncomfortable their bed is, because there's something real being said. I'm not saying this is the only kind of story there is, I'm not even saying this stuff is 'good' or 'better' - it's just what I like.
You should only make things you like, so that's the deal. I want my characters to learn lessons. Big lessons. Meaningful lessons. The sorts of things that change people.
But not necessarily true lessons.
I also find that the most interesting characters are self-assured. I think it's rare for people to be able to shine a light on their own flaws - things that they'd REALLY think of as flaws, not the fake 'flaws' we all own up to in interviews and with our friends - and so I try to explore how certain flaws develop and persist. The best ones usually do so in darkness.
A lot of what I write is obviously drawing from my own thoughts, experiences, readings, and discussions. But despite how strong a character's voiced opinion might seem, try to remember that fiction is fiction and don't hold me too tight to any of the content.