April 25th, 2008

I’ve realized that over the years we’ve discussed things that we need to work on (ie plotting, description, pacing, etc.). I thought it might be a nice change to talk about our strengths. Sometimes we don’t know our strengths until they’re pointed out by others. (Being too close to the subject does that. šŸ˜‰ I know when I’m asked what I consider my writing strengths to be I tend to struggle with the question. When that happens, I realize I don’t really understand what the question means. I know that sounds weird, but it’s the truth. My dh pointed that out when I was struggling with plotting a couple of years ago. Since then, I’ve learned how to plot. It took a lot of definitions for me to understand what people meant when they said the word plot, but once I got it, I REALLY got it. *g* Now where was I? That’s right, I was discussing strengths. I think in this business it’s really easy to focus on weaknesses and discount strengths. Makes me wonder if we’re going at it wrong. Maybe we should be playing up what we’re good at first, then worrying about what needs strengthening later???

One of the things I’ve realized I can do fairly well is pace a book. I try to make sure that the books I write these days are fast paced. I never studied how to do this. It just seemed to be something that I picked up naturally. Now it’s your turn. What do you do well? What are your strengths? Even if you’re not a writer, I’d love to hear what you think your strengths are because I think it’s important to be reminded now and again. šŸ™‚

30 comments to “Strengths”

  1. Neat topic! I’m good at fast pacing, story architecture, and believable characters. With fun dialog. And hot sex. :mrgreen:

  2. Charli, Shout it to the world. šŸ™‚

  3. I do hot males?


    That sounds kinky. I’ll take it.

  4. Guess I’ve had a person or two say I had a fairly strong, evocative voice.
    Now all I need are good stories and characters! šŸ™„

  5. Gennita, Everyone needs a talent. šŸ˜‰ *ggg*

  6. Raine, Yes, you definitely have a strong voice. LOL on the other comments!

  7. If I can make someone laugh with my writing, I’m happy. šŸ™‚

  8. I’m good at pacing, creating evocative scenes, and world building.

    My plotting needs work. šŸ™‚

  9. Bernard, Being able to make people laugh is important. šŸ™‚ I try to do that on occasion. šŸ˜‰

  10. Vivi, Those are all strong elements. The plotting just takes practice. šŸ˜‰

  11. This is an excellent question, and I believe I can rock dialog and story structure. But what I’m really interested is finding a bunch of people who will read a cross section of my novels and then tell me what I do best. The likelihood of that happening is virtually nil, but it would be really neat.

    Now there’s an at home business idea – kind of a JD Powers thing for writers. šŸ™‚

  12. “But what Iā€™m really interested is finding a bunch of people who will read a cross section of my novels and then tell me what I do best.”

    As long as they don’t measure the margins, Jo, I’m in. šŸ™‚

  13. Jo, Yes, that would be nice to find a bunch of readers. I’ve never had anyone do that either. I do think there is a business possibility in there somewhere. šŸ˜‰

  14. Lynn, LOL, you know there would be the measurers in there somewhere.

  15. I’m going to go with, emotion, characterization and dialog. šŸ˜†


  16. Damn, I feel shallow now. I read everyone’s strengths and…I still just do hot males. They are strong hot males?
    šŸ˜ˆ :mrgreen:

  17. Gen, if they’re hot enough, I think that’s really all you need to do. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  18. Dialogue, and characterization and (for Gen), hot males! LOL

    I STILL struggle with plotting, though I’m getting better.

  19. Sarah, Emotion is a tough one. That’s something to definitely be proud of. šŸ™‚

  20. Gennita, LOL! Those are very important to a romance story. šŸ˜‰

  21. Gennita, Meant to add that you shouldn’t feel alone. All I said was fast pacing. *ggg*

  22. Amie, The key of this post is to remind everyone to play up what they do well, not dwell on what needs work. So be proud. šŸ˜€

  23. Excellent idea for a topic! Of course, like you, I’m not sure I could just list my strengths, in writing or otherwise. People have said that my writing is funny and they like my voice, so I suppose that’s one. I’ve only ever head-hopped once, and that was just one line in my first book, before I knew what I was doing. But, really, I’m so much better at pointing out what I could have done better. I annoy myself with that, in fact. šŸ™„

  24. Caryn, That’s at least two. šŸ˜‰ Nora is the Queen of Head-hopping and it hasn’t hurt her career. šŸ™‚ Not everyone can make the transition as smoothly as Nora. The key is ‘knowing’ that you’re doing it.

    Yes, it’s far easier to zero in on our weaknesses, but not today. Today we celebrate our strengths. šŸ™‚

  25. Definitely dialogue. My first drafts tend to be 90 percent talking, 10 percent {insert action here}. (Literally—lots of placeholders in that first go-through!) I need what the characters say (and don’t say) to figure out who they are and what happens.

    Which is weird, since I’m not a talker myself…

  26. Kerry, That’s an interesting way to do a first draft. I admit that my manuscripts skew on the high side when it comes to dialogue. It’s filling in the other bits that’s more of a challenge. Of course, I love to yap. *ggg*

  27. Strengths: Action sequences, fast paced storyline, dialogue, creating tension and plotting. When I go deep in characterization, the emotion usually follows, yet that’s where I think I am right now–learning that delicate balance between taking the characterization another layer or two down AND keeping the plot/storyline fresh and new. Wish there was a magical formula. šŸ˜‰

  28. You and me both, Patrice. *g*

  29. Does making characters suffer count?

    I take great joy in making my characters suffer. šŸ˜‰

  30. Shiloh, I believe that’s a skill. *ggg*