Powered by Bravenet Bravenet Blog

Monday, January 30th 2012

11:58 PM

Writing strengths and weaknesses . . .

Weaknesses could be a very long list.  I’m pretty hard on myself.  So let’s start with the positives . . . I can plot.  I’m great at brainstorming and I think in a lineal fashion so I’m always five or six steps ahead of whatever chapter/scene I’m organizing.  And speaking of organization . . . another of my strengths (and weaknesses, but more about that later).  This is my belief, you can be organized and work quickly or you can do it by the seat of your pants and write drafts that need a ton of editing.  Here’s the thing – if I’m going to my best friend’s house, I don’t need a map.  BUT if I’m driving from Florida to Montana, I’ve got a map and the GPS turned on so I don’t veer off course too often.  So I organize my book before I write the first word.  I do not do a traditional outline.  I actually start with the end.  As an example . . . I know the bad guy gets caught at the end.  Well for him to get caught, what has to happen?  Protagonist finds final clue.  Well, for protagonist to find that final clue, what has to happen?  So I go backward scene by scene until I get to the other thing I know – the opening or inciting incident – why now? Why this person? What happens to start the story?  Is a dead body discovered?  A threat made?  It doesn’t matter, all I need to know is why I’m telling the story.  I do use organizational software – and no, it doesn’t plot the book for you.  I use yWriter, WriteWayPro and Power Structure.  Why all 3 – because they offer me different things.  yWriter is free and allows you to make nice charts and graphs.  WriteWayPro is all about the characterization.  I think it costs under $50.00 and it’s a download.  Power Structure is my go to program.  This is where I put in all my plot points and keep track of names, locations, clues, threads, things to tie up – it’s very customizable, so you can use it in whatever fashion suits your style.  And having that  information on my computer isn’t enough.  I have to print everything out and put it into binders.  I need to be able to make adjustments.

My writing strengths – humor, dialogue and action.  Oh, and research.  I can do those things.

My weaknesses – my compulsiveness.  I literally can’t write unless I’m totally organized.  I have to have all my characterization and plotting finished before I can make the first move.  While that helps in the writing process – I can move at a brisk pace – I’m also redundant.  In the Finley Tanner mysteries, each chapter starts with a Finleyism.  I can’t write the chapter until I know the Finleyism for that chapter.  Anal, I know. 

In terms of skill weaknesses – I’m too sparse.  I always have to tell myself to slow down.  I think faster than I type, so that doesn’t help.  And before anyone suggests it – yes, I have voice recognition and I’m trying to get used to using it but I’m an old dog learning a new trick.  I’m really bad when it comes to writing sex.  I’d rather describe dismemberment than have to write a love scene.  I just think they’re boring.  I skip them in other people’s books too.  Just not my cup of tea.

I’m really bad at descriptions.  I tend to gloss over things and that means the reader doesn’t get a clear picture of a room, an outfit, and sometimes even the tone.  It’s still part of that sparse thing I have a problem with.  In the Finley books, she’s a shopper and addicted to the latest fashions.  I live in south Florida.  For nine months of the year I dress in shorts and a tee shirt.  The other three months are yoga pants and a tee shirt.  I loathe wearing make-up and I rather order in and relax that eat at a swanky restaurant.  So I have to really work at getting all that information right.  My favorite trick – subscriptions to fashion magazines and Nordstrom’s website.  I go virtually shopping for Finley all the time.

My biggest weakness – insecurity.  After 40 books I still think I’ll turn in the manuscript and my editor will call and say, “Very funny, now where’s the real book?”  I still feel like I have a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do as a writer.  I want to get better.  I love it when someone tells me the book they just read was better than the one before.  Then I know I’ve done my job.

So I’ll end with this – embrace your weaknesses.  Find shortcuts that will help you get over those humps (like In Style magazine).  Celebrate and play to your strengths.  If you’re great with dialogue – use that to your advantage – show don’t tell as they say.

Plot, plan and perfect.

30 Comment(s).

Posted by Carol:

Weⅼl, theгe'ѕ not еven attempt to ƅe concerned about replacing the
top, yoou caan contact Dallas roofing contractors.
Βoth of thesе factors can bеgin to play an іmportant role insde tһe quality ᧐f roofing services
property owners receive. Тhink things through ԝhen 2 or more contractors
ofer conflicting ideas concerning tһe task that's best for tһе

my bllog post :: Roofing contractor
Tuesday, February 25th 2020 @ 6:27 PM

Posted by Avenue South Residence:

I'm loving these exciting new launches in Singapore!

Avenue South Residence

The Avenir

Dairy Farm Residences

Kopar At Newton

How To Be A Property Agent

Sims Villa

Clementi Ville
Sunday, February 23rd 2020 @ 8:09 AM

Posted by Avenue South Residence:

I'm loving these exciting new launches in Singapore!

"Avenue South Residence"

"The Avenir"

"Dairy Farm Residences"

"Kopar At Newton"

"How To Be A Property Agent"

"Sims Villa"

"Clementi Ville"
Sunday, February 23rd 2020 @ 8:06 AM

Posted by rent car:

Booking a car online with no guarantor and no driver is easy
Saturday, February 22nd 2020 @ 7:25 AM

Posted by isopro:

I really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. I assure this would be beneficial for most of the people.
Thursday, February 20th 2020 @ 6:34 AM

Posted by karl jenis:

As one of the leading fabrication and stone-cutting firms in the UK, London Surface Design boasts over 50 years of combined knowledge in the industry. From quartz kitchen worktops and countertops to beautiful porcelain bathrooms, our industry-leading products have been supplied to building contractors around the world; including the UK, EU, Middle East and Africa.

Our aim is to provide customers with the very best materials coupled with unrivalled industry knowledge. We pride ourselves on the service we offer and by using the latest state-of-the-art technology, we are able to cater for every project imaginable – no matter if it is residential or commercial.
Thursday, February 20th 2020 @ 3:27 AM

Posted by godigitalzone:

I am very glad to invite you to my blog Go Digital Zone which is based on the government to people legal information.
Wednesday, February 19th 2020 @ 4:32 AM

Posted by Aurelia:

This is very fascinating, You are an overly skilled blogger.
I have joined your rss feed and look forward to in quest of extra of
your fantastic post. Additionally, I have shared your website in my
social networks

Also visit my page: Get Source
Thursday, February 13th 2020 @ 4:06 AM

Posted by Elden:

Thank you for sharing with us, I think this website really stands out

Look at my blog :: Electro Hard Pills
Thursday, February 13th 2020 @ 4:01 AM

Posted by Lashawnda:

I don't even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
I don't know who you are but certainly you're going to
a famous blogger if you aren't already ;) Cheers!

Look at my web-site Healing FX CBD
Wednesday, February 12th 2020 @ 1:51 PM

Posted by Thao:

Hello, Neat post. There's an issue with your web site in internet explorer,
might check this? IE still is click the next internet site
marketplace chief and a big component of people will miss your great writing due to this problem.
Wednesday, February 12th 2020 @ 9:34 AM

Posted by Penrose:

Thanks for the awesome write up! I found the article to be informative. Here are the latest residential developments launching in Singapore 2020. Many more condominiums coming your way. Kopar At Newton, Landmark Tower, The M, Forrett At Bukit Timah, Penrose, Midtown Garden.
Wednesday, February 12th 2020 @ 4:15 AM

Posted by ekekke:

cool article! i will be sure to share this with the residents of Treasure At Tampines and JadeScape !
Wednesday, February 12th 2020 @ 1:39 AM

Posted by Meghan:

hello!,I really like your writing so a lot! proportion we communicate more approximately your article
on AOL? I require a specialist on this house to solve my problem.
May be that is you! Taking a look ahead to look

My webpage Flat Belly Fix Tea
Tuesday, February 11th 2020 @ 9:59 PM

Posted by Krystyna:

Hello! I just want to give you a huge thumbs up for your excellent info you have here on this post.

I will be coming back to your site for more soon.

Feel free to surf to my web site: Advanced Formula Keto
Tuesday, February 11th 2020 @ 9:41 PM

Posted by Bernice:

Very instructive and fantastic complex body part of subject matter, now that's user friendly (:

My web blog :: Healing FX CBD
Tuesday, February 11th 2020 @ 5:30 PM

Posted by Precious:

Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I'm impressed!
Extremely useful info particularly the last part :
) I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this certain info
for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

My web blog :: Healing FX CBD
Tuesday, February 11th 2020 @ 5:18 PM

Posted by watch movies:

how to download the latest Rdxhd movies?
Which are the process.
Monday, February 10th 2020 @ 9:44 AM

Posted by FAKAZA MP3 2020:

Posted by FAKAZA TUNE:

Posted by Sims Villa:

What a beautiful story. I will share this with my new friends I made in the West of Singapore at Clementi Ville
Wednesday, February 5th 2020 @ 3:47 AM

Posted by fakaza vibes:

Posted by career help blog:

I have one, too that no else listed. I don't know if this is the...because it lists the sides effects of the bad foods. I have one that I printed out and keep on my fridge
Monday, February 3rd 2020 @ 10:44 AM

Posted by fakaza:

Wow! I am really happy to have come across this. Your voice is really amazing Michael. I am a singer folk from Canada and have had lots of.
Monday, February 3rd 2020 @ 10:44 AM

Posted by roku.com link:

Posted by Lawrence:

Omg, this message features a great deal of amazing details, thanks!

Here is my web-site ... coinbase Coin
Friday, January 31st 2020 @ 1:32 PM

Posted by Cora:

I feel really satisfied to have seen your web page and look onward to many more enjoyable times reviewing below.
Thanks once again for all the details.

Here is my website; bitmex Overview (Greatlakesvisitorsguide.com)
Friday, January 31st 2020 @ 4:49 AM

Posted by baseball master:

The article is very helpful for us, please update daily via baseball master cool math games so that I can get more useful information.
Thursday, January 30th 2020 @ 10:09 PM

Posted by vaibhav mehta:

Hi, very nice information. I have read a couple of your blog and I liked them you can Download movies from Todaypk Tamil movies on Tamilyogi Einthusan HD movie download
Thursday, January 30th 2020 @ 5:56 PM

Posted by proiso:

The article you have shared here very good. This is really interesting information for me. Thanks for sharing!

iso 27001 oman

iso oman

27001 oman consultant

27001 provides oman

iso provide
Wednesday, January 29th 2020 @ 4:13 AM

Post New Comment

No Smilies More Smilies »