1. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your strengths as a writer

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by jazzabel, May 16, 2014.

    We so often talk about our writing weaknesses, but what are our strengths? Is there an aspect of writing, no matter how mundane and small, that you excel effortlessly at?
     
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  2. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Effortlessly? No, I don't think I have any.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Characters pop into my head more or less effortlessly. Sometimes they only half appear, and then I have to write a scene or two about them to bring them in fully. But that's about it.

    I think I have a very good prose style most of the time, but that's not effortless. It's because I care about it and I keep rewriting my paragraphs until I love them. I'm confident, though, that I can achieve the effects I want. (Caveat: I'm struggling with a climax of a story right now that I haven't figured out how to write. It's the most difficult writing challenge I think I've ever undertaken. It hasn't beaten me yet, but it might.)

    Everything else is pretty hard for me. Lots of work in the foggy dark, wondering if I'm doing the thing right, or even doing the right thing...
     
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  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have effortless punctuation. I think it comes from studying so many languages and their literatures, that I don't even have to think about it. I also manage long sentences well. :)

    @minstrel : I hope it doesn't beat you! Maybe you shouldn't force it. Just let it come to you.

    @Selbbin : There's gotta be something :)
     
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  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Probably dialogue, especially an ear for how people actually speak. It usually sounds pretty natural, and during rewrites, it's actually often dialogues that make me smile because I'd read a character response and I'd think to myself, "Whoa!" Of course those are usually important dialogues that I put some thought to, but more or less I don't have to think too hard.

    Descriptions and atmosphere is another thing that comes relatively easily to me, assuming I'm in the mood for it. In general any kind of internal, emotional narrative comes pretty naturally to me.

    It's direct action I usually have a problem with - probably because it feels boring and thus comes out boring too. I can't write humour, although that's actually been improving. I struggle to believe in my own fantastical imaginings, which undermines my writing a fair bit when it comes to the fantasy scenes.

    But writing can always be edited, rewritten, deleted and written afresh. I wouldn't say there's anything too terrible when it comes to the actual writing. It's allowing my characters to be fully human, and fully flawed that's my biggest weakness - I can't seem to let them out of my fantasy.
     
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  6. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Hmmm... I shouldn't really pin my colours to the mast on this. Every time I think I'm getting the gist of the aspects of writing that appear to come most easily to me, something happens to make me question that belief.

    If I had to pick one particular strength, it would probably be my ability to paint a scene in broad strokes, just by picking out the details that provide the maximum impact in the fewest amount of words. That might not like seem like much, but given that I have a tendency to run my mouth off, it's about the about only time I stay succinct and on point.

    It's the one positive criticism I tend to receive, no matter how shitty the rest of the piece is.
     
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  7. Ethroptur
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    Ethroptur New Member

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    I would have to stay that characters, stories and settings come effortlessly to me. I have forty ideas for novels and one non-fiction book, all of which I have come up with in the past year. The prose itself is a bit more difficult. I know it's perfectly fine prose if it just makes grammatical sense, but I like to add a bit more poetic language into it than most do, so I end up having to think about word use a lot more.
     
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  8. Robert Clinton
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    Robert Clinton Member

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    As a writer you have to be updated according to reader and latest trends, i always use internet as resource for knowing the trends and refer professional writer and also sample available at different website so that i van know thw new style of writing and what is required by students, or by any university.
    Its all about how you arrange your thought according to to readers need.
     
  9. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Really? :D Doesn't ever cross my mind. If I were wanting to write for the masses, perhaps, but as it stands, trends and what is currently fashionable in the world of writing means sod all to me. Austen didn't have the benefit of modern conveniences and technology, yet her work holds up pretty damn well. ;)

    The only real exception I would make to this, is researching the current rules of thumb when it comes to manuscript presentation and, at this point in time, I'm nowhere near ready yet.
     
  10. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I'm not so bad at dialog which is why I'm always tempted to start a story with it. I keep having to remind myself to describe the visual stuff and internal emotions, much of which feels like a chore for me.
     
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  11. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I believe my strength is plots. I also find revision of plots easy, too. If something's not working, I can figure out a way to make it work without starting over.
    (Granted, this is my first book and I might not know what I'm talking about.)
     
  12. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I'd say coming up with characters. In fact, when I start writing something, I almost always start with the characters.
     
  13. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    I could make a long list of my weaknesses and I'm struggling right now to think of a strength. :oops: Does research count? LOL Maybe...emotion? I think I have an ability to stay pretty objective as a writer and see all possible outcomes and reactions of characters, being able to understand multiple points of view, and their effect on each other in the past, present, and future.
     
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  14. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Generally the entire process works quite smoothly for me. The hardest part is checking for typos and silly errors.
     
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  15. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Developing story ideas. Not just having the original idea (although that usually is pretty easy, too) but taking it and coming up with something that could be a novel - some charcaters, conflicts, etc.

    I also think I've become very good at learning from my mistakes, but I attribute that to age. :D
     
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  16. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I'd like to think the same is true of me. I'm never done learning and tweaking, and learning and tweaking...

    I just hope I hit my stride before dementia or senility start creeping in, given that I'm a late bloomer. ;)
     
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  17. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I've been told that I'm very good at taking the reader from smiling at my characters one minute to weeping with emotion the next minute. That I make my readers get so engrossed in the story that the trials I put my characters through somehow tug at the readers heart strings as if the characters are real people.

    Which is actually what I set out to do.
     
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  18. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    My writer's voice.
    I used to think the whole concept of a voice was either overrated or mythical. But when I actually sat down and studied what it was and actually grasped it and found my own voice, I felt like that was the turning point in my writing. And it made everything easier. It freed me to explore things I liked - poetic prose, broken sentences, description, offbeat characters - without feeling like I was always doing something wrong. I know I have a ways to go grammar-wise but I don't think there's ever a point in writing where you stop learning or improving.
     
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  19. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    This is good if you want to be a trendy genre writer ( I use that term loosely ) with an eye on readership. A lot of romance writer's are very in touch with what's going on so this is a good attitude if you're going that route. However, it's not a good idea to be so focused on trends if you want to write more general fiction, literature, sci-fi and such. In fact a lot of those have to touch up on ideas that have been around for ages. Jealousy, poverty, love triangles, breach of trust all those timeless things. Or anticipate future trends.
     
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  20. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Something I know I can do in terms of writing is creating characters and plots. Give me five minutes and five random characters off the top of your head, and I'll have them do things that will shock you. Give me five characters, and I'll give you a family feud set in Victorian England, a war narrative set during the American Civil War, or a mystery set in 1200s China. Hell, just give me one character, and I'll make him/her either the most powerful person in the entire universe, or a lowly serf in Tsardom Russia.
     
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  21. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    I think people tend to have strengths. Some find it easy to write dialogue. Others plot. And so on. Takes practice to get them all to a competent level though.
     
  22. Azurisy
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    Azurisy Member

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    Good question.

    My writing strength is to plot imagination in the real world.

     
  23. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I have no idea what this means.
     
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  24. Azurisy
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    Azurisy Member

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    My idea is that, I write stories, in order to influence the reader to do something in the real world.

     
  25. FlareWarrior
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    FlareWarrior Member

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    Unique plots. I don't ever see the stuff I come up with done anywhere else.
     
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