Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What's Your Weakness?



I know, I know. This picture assumes that as writers, we are superheroes. Let's just pretend, shall we?

As I've written more and more, my crit partner has noticed that I have an interesting flaw (among many others). I don't like to write action scenes. I hurry through them ("To get to the kissy-kissy parts!" she tells me). But the truth is, they are not my forte, and I need to work on them.

Do you have weaknesses in your writing that stand out? What's your Kryptonite, my superhero writing friends?


Remember to take a minute to see this week's blog chain post on writing goals!


Danyelle Leafty is posting today! And check out my post last week, Laura's response, and Zoe's next week.

63 comments:

Alesa Warcan said...

Modern dialog... Modern dialog is a pain for me to write. Perhaps because I don't like the way people speak English naturally, and so I'm always tempted to slip in slightly outdated or quaint forms of phrasing. Thus the resultant dialog often seems unnatural and requires swift action on my part to painstakingly correct it. : j

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

My weakness is a balnace of action and dialogue. My characters talk TOO much!

Alesa Warcan said...

@Alliallo: Heheh, so your characters talk too much, mine not enough... But I talk too much! I wonder if it's related? ; j

Ted Cross said...

I think perhaps sustaining suspense is my weakness. Oddly enough, people keep commenting that I use too much modern dialogue, but there is a legit reason why they should be (but I am not allowed to say why yet in this first novel). It is frustrating.

Slamdunk said...

I think my strength is picking an appealing story, but my weaknesses are everything beyond that: the storytelling, the mechanics of writing, etc.

Melissa said...

I'm pretty bad at action scenes too, to be honest. It's ironic because my book has a fair few of them. My other weakness is I spend so much time on pointless character development because I love my characters so much....it's not all really needed but I hate cutting any of it.

Connie said...

I resolve my novels too quickly. I guess I'm "tired" by the end and finish too quickly.

Terri Tiffany said...

My dialogue is not enough. I do a few lines and figure move on to the next scene.

Joanne said...

I usually spend a lot of time on the opening, trying to really work it to effectively draw the reader in. So I do a lot of rewrites there.

Erinn said...

Right now I'm struggling with making the right emotional impact with my writing. I want my readers to FEEL what my characters are... a slight problem is, I've never felt it, so it's hard to write.

Description is also a skill I struggle with, how much do I really need? Too much slows down the pace. Some beta readers want more, and when I write more other beta readers want less. It's a hard line to work travel.

lbdiamond said...

Yar, me gots some weaknesses. (Picking up the parlance of Pirate English from Facebook be one of 'em!)

I tend to be weak on the descriptive--tried to fix that...will see what new beta thinks, LOL!

*Traveling blog shout out!*

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

My weakness tends to be overdescription. I'm working on it though. :)

B.E. Sanderson said...

My weakness - especially in first draft stage - is too much action, not enough description. Too bad for me that means I sometimes have a tough time figuring out who said what and who was doing what when I come back around for subsequent drafts. =o\

Aubrie said...

My flaw, strangely enough, is coming up with character flaws. My characters are too perfect.

Action scenes are hard to write. I have to slow it down in my head to see what's going on!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm usually so wrapped up in what my characters are saying and thinking that I forget to put them somewhere--like, uh, a setting. LOL!

Mary McDonald said...

I think my weakness is I tend to write short, simple sentences. Probably because I'm a short, simple person. lol. You won't find long flowery speeches in my stories ever.

Jaydee Morgan said...

Mine is description...I'm really not a fan of it when I read and I really hate to write it - even though I understand it's importance.

storyqueen said...

Weakness=action scenes. And also losing characters in certain scenes...or even throughout the book. My agent will write, "Where is the character of Thomas while all of this is going on to the character of Miles?" My response is usually, "I have no idea."

Shelley

JustineDell said...

My weakness? Oh, can I name more than one?

Action scenes and scenes where someone is going through something emotional. I have a hard time with action scenes because I never write them. I had to do one really short one in my first book and it almost killed me! LoL.

But I mainly struggle through those scenes where the H/H is having something really emotional happening that changes the plot to move forward. That's bad, right? Yeah. LoL

~JD

Janna Qualman said...

I try to rush through scenes. I'm working on consciously pulling myself into the character's moment and showing.

Jennifer Walkup said...

Yep. I loathe the action scenes too. I seem to have different weaknesses all the time. Some books too descriptive, some not enough, etc.

Clara said...

Oh I have one big time kryptonite and its the same as yours: Action scenes.

But you see, my book is action/fantasy! Which basically means I´m screwed!
I try hard though though. It´s peachy to try to describe action when your mother tongue isn´t english...peachy!

Janet Johnson said...

Where to start? Description is my weakness. I always skim through it when I read, so I guess you could say I never learned how to do it.

Just get to the point, I say! What? You want to know where we are? What my MC looks like? Gaaah! Go away! Just go away, I say!

Lisa said...

Description--definitely. I want to get to the meat of the story and description just gets in the way.

I read that way too! I skim the description because I'm quick to paint my own visuals and they usually have very little to do with the author's description after the first sentence or two in a scene set-up.

Carol Kilgore said...

I have a lot of weaknesses. One is seeing the flaws my protagonist has. Another is letting her emotions flow.

Tahereh said...

yesss action scenes are tough because usually there is fighting -- AND I AM UNFAMILIAR WITH THIS TERRITORY. i'm always worried i won't know what they're supposed to do. duck? punch? kick? run away?

ahhh

Erinn said...

So this posting gave me an idea, wouldn't it be great if there was blog where you could post your "problems" with writing and other people could point you to resources or advice to fix that problem.


I know I do Mid Week Link where I post links to different writing skills or things about publishing. But that's not really the same as dealing with people posting their writing problems and getting resources for those.

Is there anything out there like that?



If not, anyone wanna help me make one?

Mayowa said...

Great post.

I show too much and don't tell enough which means I end up with ridiculous wordcounts....maybe I'm not showing with enough precision...hmnn

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

As far as scenes go, I'm better at action than romantic ones. Which is strange because I am a hopeless romantic. So we (CP's) are trying to figure that one out. The other weakness is that my characters dominate the scene and the scenery itself gets cut, so a lot of white space UGH! That one is becoming less of a weakness though, thankfully.

Lisa_Gibson said...

I sometimes forget to put in non-verbal communication. Things like clenching of fists, picking at cuticles, narrowing of eyes, etc.

Amparo Ortiz said...

My Kryptonite? Setting. I HATE stopping the action to describe where the characters are and what the place looks like. My crit partner (who ROCKS) notices this and calls me out on my laziness, which I appreciate.

Great post, Lydia!

sarahmullengilbert said...

Two of my biggest weaknesses are all dialogue sounding the same and too much eye rolling by the characters. (It's middle school, there has to be SOME eye rolling!)

So interesting reading the other comments. Good luck everyone!

Mohamed Mughal said...

My Kryptonite's not mechanistic; it's emotional - self-doubt.

Heather said...

I'm the opposite with action scenes. I take my time and have been known in the past to overwrite them technically~probably due to my background~which made for quite a bit of editing. I'm getting better at it though. The thing that really kills me is outlining. I hate it but I've been shown~forcibly~how important it is so I make myself write one!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Spelling, grammer, adverbs...I have lots of weaknesses. Thank goodness for critique partners!

Lydia, I have an award for you over at my blog. :)

Aubrie said...

Lydia,

Thank you for your advice on my query! I hadn't thought of that and I've taken out "afterglow" and put in something much better.

Many thanks!!

Sandy Shin said...

My weakness is action and description scenes. I tend to breeze through them so I can get to "easier" scenes. :)

Talli Roland said...

I do this crazy thing where i lead up to the action, then skim the action bit! Or leave it out and move straight on to the next scene. D'oh.

MBW aka Olleymae said...

My Kryptonite is thoroughness. It's all in my head and i always assume the reader knows it all, too. I like to get on with the storyline and not bog it down with detail... ha

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm better at it now, but dialogue and providing explanations.

Vicki Rocho said...

I'm sure I have several, but the one that comes to mind is descriptions!

I struggle describing the setting, clothes, and the characters themselves. I think this is because I tend to skip over descriptive parts when I'm reading....

DaniSue said...

Wait, writers aren't superheroes? Hmph...

My weakness is knowing what my characters want. They tend to just drift along, letting things happen to them, with no clear motivation. At least in one of my WIP's, this is this issue. Kind of a big one too...

Kenda said...

Telling, not showing. How do these things sneak in there when I know better??

JEM said...

I'm sure I have many. Reading back through some of my action scenes, I realized that I waaaaaaay overwrite them. I need to take a page from Suzanne Collins' books.

DL Hammons said...

I think I fall down on romantic scenes, or scenes that are emotionally charged. Gotta learn to tap into my female side more. :P

Jemi Fraser said...

My weakness is repetition. I don't repeat the actual words, but I say the same thing in a different way for emphasis. It's just a habit - I know to trust the reader, but in the first drafts, I'm continually knocking them on the head with extra info. :)

littlemissjuicy said...

Umm..what I hate is narrating things! I tend to rush through the details which may seem insignificant to me but are very important to a reader who has no prior knowledge of what I am describing because I'm too excited to get to the point! Thank you for making me realize that through your post. :)

Kerrin said...

wow! i don;t think i've written enough to find out what my weakness is! Oh to be that clear would be wonderful. I think my weakness is that i explain things too much and don't let my characters talk though.
That's my take on it. I wonder what my readers would think?
I may have to do a post on that sometime!
good post!

notesfromnadir said...

I'm sure I have a lot of 'em but the major one can be being overly descriptive. I learned this from John Steinbeck & Sinclair Lewis. But sometimes I can go to the other extreme if I get overly analytical. I've learned that the best way to get flow is to write & then go back & edit.

Southpaw said...

For me it’s the transition scene. I want to rush to the action, or intense moment, or whatever. I tend to rush through the build up.

WritingNut said...

I am terrible at describing setting, and I tend to be very wordy!

Karen Lange said...

My weakness? I think I have several:) I know I use adverbs too much...

Always love your fun illustrations. They go with your topics so well!

Stephanie Thornton said...

I have a lot of weaknesses. I just had a writer friend point out that I really like to use present participles.

Eiyiyi...

Susan Fields said...

Action scenes, definitely! I'm much more at home with the emotional stuff (and the kissy kissy parts!)

Jennie Bailey said...

The kissy kissy scenes are actually my weakness! I love writing the action scenes. I'm not good at sentimentality in my life or in my writing. I struggle with that at times.

I want to learn how to squeeze 25 hours of life into a day!

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

I think I will have difficulty making a dialogue flow.

Rachna Chhabria said...

My weaknesses are too many. To name a few, I am always in an hurry to finish my books,I need to add more tension to the scenes, I have to work hard on getting the dialogues right.

Ricki Schultz said...

For me, it's transitions. I tend to be a bit episodic, and it takes me a bit to actually lay the groundwork.

V. important to be able to recognize our Kryptonite!

Krispy said...

Action is my weak point too. I'm also struggling of late to describe things differently; everything's starting to sound like the same thing! :(

Ed Pilolla said...

what a treat to find your blog. lots of writing blogs out there. i appreciate your shorter posts that aren't lacking in content at all. here from jm neeb.

my weakness as a writer is that i don't write funny enough, suspenseful enough or descriptive enough. other than that, i'm doing great. seriously, my problem is finding that right balance between internal and external movement. i tend to move onto polishing before laying that foundation right.

bard said...

My biggest weakness is reliance on my muse.

prashant said...

I think my strength is picking an appealing story,
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Erinn said...

Hi Lynda I used this post to help me with my Mid Week Links Post, it's right here. It's about dialogue since lots of people said it was their weakness.
http://somethingelsetodistractme.blogspot.com/2010/06/midweek-links-dialogue.html#comments

Thanks for the inspiration

 
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