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Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Constance on Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:20 am

I was pondering this, so I thought I'd share.
What do you think your best(and worst) writing skill(s) is?

I dunno if it's my best, but dialogue is definitely my favorite. I love making people speak differently than I do(or, in some cases, like I want to Razz).
And I think describing (settings, especially) is my worst. I don't want to over-do it, but I know it's important... It's just a very frustrating aspect to me. I'd be fine with just leaving it out(scenes automatically fill themselves in for me), but anyone reading my writings would probably be totally lost... O_o

So what about you? What do you think you strong point is in writing? What about your weak point?
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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Amanda on Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:11 am

I've been told that my dialogue is good. I think my main problem is...character. I have a hard time getting just the right amount of internal processes without overloading or barely letting the reader know we're in the character's head(for my 3rd person stuff), mainly on the side of not enough internal dialogue. I'm getting better, but it's a process. I used to have a real hard time including enough descriptions, but my new philosophy on those have really helped. Smile
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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Matthew on Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:36 am

I'm not sure what my strength is, but my weakness is probably description. My writing isn't filled with vivid descriptions of the sunset etc.
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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Constance on Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:52 am

@Amanda Oooh, wanna share that new philosophy? Razz
I usually write in first person. But when I do write in third, I ALWAYS have enough internal dialogue––that part of myself transfers over. So the whole talking to myself thing actually benefits my writing! Harah! Very Happy

@Scribbler I understand!!! I can do those, but they tend to go all purple-prosy on me if I'm not careful. Razz
Well, if you aren't sure what your strength is, what part of writing do you enjoy the most?
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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Maggie on Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:45 pm

I can't say dialogue is my strong point. I'm not awful at it, but it doesn't come so naturally to me or anything.

I'd say my strength would be world building. I've been told many times that the atmospheres and the sense of place in my writing is very believable, and I do work a lot on it, so I guess it pays off.

I'd say my weakness is just the plotting itself. Sometimes you'll get half through my novel and the characters will have no clear direction. Or it'll reach the end and you don't really know what they were ever fighting against, or else it's just a dumb idea. :/ I have so much trouble.

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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Renée on Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:51 pm

Hmm...I'd have to ask Amanda for a definite answer--I'm not very good at looking at my writing objectively. As for what I think...dialogue may or may not be my strongpoint, but I definitely have the most fun writing it! Especially when the character's being "witty". Very Happy

I used to think setting description was my weakness, but looking back, I don't think my characters ever started walking through white space. So for worst, I'd have to say transitions. Or comma use, if that counts. I'm actually getting a lot better with the commas! Wink

Oh, I just remembered--action sequences. One of my characters got in a fight, and I couldn't for the life of me get it to come out right. I obsessed over it for a week, maybe more, and then I left it. We'll see how the next one goes. Very Happy
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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Constance on Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:32 pm

@Lizzy *jealous* I wish I was good at world building! I think it's more I'm not always sure what it entails than anything else. But details that don't pertain to my plot or my scene... They are unloved. Razz
I've never thought about that part of plotting... O.o But then, I've yet to actually finish my book, No so I don't know if the plot will all seem pointless at the end.

@Renee Hehe––witty is fun. I understand! I'm especially good at making sarcastic characters. I just have to be careful they don't have too much bite or people tell me they don't like them(MCs, not side-villians).
Action sequences are hard, so it's totally okay to be bad at those. It'd be better if you could get someone to act it out with you(I've yet to find anyone I'm willing to ask for fear of getting laughed at Razz).
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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Renée on Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:57 pm

@Lizzy -- World building...that is a very good skill to have! I only just started world building, so I don't know if I'm any good at it yet. I came up with names for my two countries, if that counts, and I just found out that they were warring a year before the story starts. Wink

As for plotting, I've been having a small issue with that as well, because my newly refurbished plot didn't stair-step the action. So I've been working on that. I like to always have a beginning, middle, and end in mind. They may change over time, but I need a solid movie in my imagination before I go anywhere with it. It's usually the getting there I have a problem with. Smile

@WriteSpinner -- Then what are dolls- *cough* action figures for? I played out the sequence in my head before I wrote it. It sort of worked--I had a problem with the wording though, because I was trying very hard not to make it sound melodramatic. I think I failed. Cool
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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Constance on Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:24 pm

Of course! My bad, my bad. Do––Action figures. Why didn't I think of that? Razz
Well. A little melodramatic-ness is good for the soul. Wink
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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Amanda on Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:01 pm

WriteSpinner wrote:@Amanda Oooh, wanna share that new philosophy? Razz
I usually write in first person. But when I do write in third, I ALWAYS have enough internal dialogue––that part of myself transfers over. So the whole talking to myself thing actually benefits my writing! Harah! Very Happy
My philosophy is that every word should advance mood, character, or plot, so all descriptions must advance mood, character, or plot. Not to the exclusion of setting--all necessary scene-setting advances mood and character/voice, if not plot. So I analyze the details I want to include and make sure they fall under at least one of the three categories. The result = the perfect amount of the right descriptions and setting. Win for all. Smile
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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Constance on Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:07 pm

I like! Definitely a good philosophy. Thanks for sharing! Smile
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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Matthew on Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:54 pm

WriteSpinner wrote: @Scribbler I understand!!! I can do those, but they tend to go all purple-prosy on me if I'm not careful. Razz
Well, if you aren't sure what your strength is, what part of writing do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy writing action sequences. Good thing I write thrillers!
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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Constance on Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:49 pm

@Scribbler Very Happy Indeed.
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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Maggie on Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:30 pm

Renee wrote:@Lizzy -- World building...that is a very good skill to have! I only just started world building, so I don't know if I'm any good at it yet. I came up with names for my two countries, if that counts, and I just found out that they were warring a year before the story starts. Wink

As for plotting, I've been having a small issue with that as well, because my newly refurbished plot didn't stair-step the action. So I've been working on that. I like to always have a beginning, middle, and end in mind. They may change over time, but I need a solid movie in my imagination before I go anywhere with it. It's usually the getting there I have a problem with. Smile

Haha, sure...but if you don't have a proper story to tell in your world, it isn't much good, is it? Wink And yeah, that totally counts! For me that's the best part, figuring out what the people are like and what they eat and believe. It's basically creating my own cultures. SO fun!

I usually have a beginning and sometimes a foggy end in mind, but never a middle. That's the hardest part for me!

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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Maggie on Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:32 pm

@Scribbler I love action sequences, too! They're so much fun to write. But sometimes I get carried away so I get sloppy. I always have to go back and clarify, make sure I expressed myself right. ^^

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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Dragontamer on Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:45 am

I'm not quite sure on this subject, but I've heard people say I have good description. My favorite thing to write would be... dramatic scenes, whether action or emotional.

My weakness?... Not sure about that, but I'm sure I've got some I just haven't figured out yet. Wink If accepting criticism on my work is a writing skill, I struggle with that, especially if it's from my family. Embarassed That's one thing I need to learn to get better at.

For creating plots, I have to have the beginning, middle, and end outlined before I actually start writing the story. I find it hard to imagine starting a story and working through it as I go along (at least for me). Shocked
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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Constance on Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:30 am

I have a distinct beginning. I have a distinct end. I even have a distinct middle. It's the connecting those that's the problem. Razz
Of course, sometimes I just have a general idea and I just wing it. xD
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Re: Best/worst writing skills?

Post  Maggie on Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:49 am

@Dragontamer That's a hard one, accepting criticize! It's definitely something you have to learn. It's like growing a second skin. I still don't like deep down inside when people mess with my baby, hehe, but I've learned how valuable it is and how I just am hurting myself by resisting. And it just gets easier! Very Happy

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