Over on Chuck Wendig’s blog Terrible Minds, he has issued a call to all and sundry to answer some simple questions about themselves as authors.
It’s hard for me to distinguish what makes me good at this thing called writing. In all honesty, I’ve never considered myself good at it. I do it because the ideas are there and I have no clue what to do with them, other than commit them to a page. I described my imagination to Mark Lawrence as a broken gum-ball machine, endlessly dispensing blobs of idea or dialogue, setting or character. If I don’t clear them away and order them into a story, they build up to a heinous, sugary mess.
I do hope I am good at writing, and I will keep working to get better. I don’t find it so hard to identify faults in my work, though.
Below is my brief response, which is also listed in the comments of his blog post:
a) What’s your greatest strength / skill in terms of writing/storytelling?
– Possibly my descriptions. Also, I don’t pay much attention to trends because they distract me. I tend to just write what’s in my head and let that be that.
b) What’s your greatest weakness in writing/storytelling? What gives you the most trouble?
– From working with my Assessor, I’d say the biggest issue with my first manuscript was plot holes. The narrative wasn’t plotted beforehand. Future works have been plotted to death!
c) How many books or other projects have you actually finished? What did you do with them?
– First manuscript is in the final stage of beta reading before submission to publishers. It took 11 years to build the first draft, then it went for manuscript assessment, then a rewrite and another assessment.
d) Best writing advice you’ve ever been given? (i.e. really helped you)
– Get your work to a level where you feel it is the best you can possibly do. Then pay a professional to tear it apart. Then, with their suggestions in hand, look at your work objectively and edit, edit, edit. Get it assessed again.
No one is going to steal your ideas. Critical feedback is not a personal attack, it is your ticket to improvement and learning the craft. If someone takes the time to give it to you, TAKE IT!
e) Worst writing advice you’ve ever been given? (i.e. didn’t help at all, may have hurt)
– “Why don’t you just stop doing this and move on?” Unfortunately, this came from a family member who has no understanding of writing or what it takes to get published work going.
f) One piece of advice you’d give other writers?
– As above. You need to enlist the help of others. Writing is not ever a solo exercise completed in a vaccum.
Please, let me know what you think, either of yourself as an author, or me!