Friday, May 22, 2009

What Are Your Strengths As A Writer?

This week's question was provided by Kim and a hard one to answer, because people generally think about their weaknesses, not strengths.  I had to think about this for a while.

1) Dialogue.  It's my favorite part of every story.  Each character speaks in a different way, and it's fun to play around with how a person says certain things.  It reveals personality quirks about someone better than anything else.  I guess it's easier for me to get into a character's thoughts by having them carry on a conversation.  Sometimes, I get a bit carried away and end up writing for pages, only to realize the entire chapter has been taken up by dialogue.  But dialogue is the most authentic part of writing for me.

2) Description.  When I write, I visualize surroundings, and especially in a fantasy-type piece, you need to let the reader know what the world looks like.  It's not a normal genre where most people know the looks, sounds, smells of a city.  What does the Greek underworld look like? It's all in my imagination, and I have to be decent at showing the reader what I see.

3) Critiquing.  I can look at my and other people's manuscripts and see where something falls a bit flat.  Seeing the problem is easy.  Fixing the problem is hard.  For me, anyway.  So I can mark up a first draft like no other, but the difficulty for me is rewriting.  

This is short, and I apologize.  My head is spinning right now, because I'm having a horribly unsuccessful time at rewriting the second chapter of ATRS.  In terms of technicality, it's better, but I feel like it doesn't have the same voice and charm as the first version.  The new version makes Meg into someone she's not, and she's less likeable.  It's pretty frustrating when the second draft is more lacking than the first.  I think I'll delete the whole thing and try again.  But not today.  So right now, I am of the mindset that I suck at everything.

Next week, the order will go:

Tuesday: Me

Made that up; hope there are no terrible repeats.

Sometime during this long weekend, I want to put up some big things I learned from "Stein On Writing" by Sol Stein.  I hope that's not plagiarism?  He had a few good points I took to heart. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Great post.

    *bats IR's hand away from delete key*

    You do not stink at everything!

    *hugs* Stories can be like that. Now go in and remind it who's boss. :D