Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blog Chain - The Good and the Bad (but mostly the Ugly)

Welcome to the first blog chain of 2011!  I've been absolutely swamped the past couple of weeks so if I owe you emails or anything like that....sorry :)

So this blog chain was started by Sandra who wants to know:

What do you think your strengths and weaknesses as a writer are? Did you have to develop your strengths, or did they come naturally to you? How are you trying to overcome your weaknesses?

I actually think about this a lot.  Writers really need to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses so that they can better themselves and their writing.

What do I think my strengths are?  My voice and my characters.  I think that above everything else, those are the things I do best.  I don't know why or from where those skills came but when I write people, I see them like 3-D.  I like to develop their flavors like stew.  I rely on them to push the story forward.

And I blame the voices on mental illness.  Don't you agree?  I do.  Thanks.

My weaknesses are many and varied.  I suck at plotting, I get caught up in minutiae, I'm easily distracted, I have tons of writing tics (like repeating things three and four times), I have rely too heavily on words and phrases.  I could go on and on.

I'm a pantser so it's hard for me to outline, but I'm trying to be more aware of plot before starting a story.  More often than not, I find myself 3/4 through a story with no firm grasp on the plot.  Sure, the characters rock, but what are they doing?

For the rest, I just try to stay cognizant of my flaws.  I rely on "just" a lot, so whenever I catch myself writing that word, I put in something different or delete it.  I try not to let people rolls their eyes or grin a lot.  I keep a list of words that I overuse.

I think weaknesses are only weaknesses if we fail to recognize them.  I'm sure I have more than I don't know about, but the ones I do see, I'm trying to fix.

Welcome to 2011!  If you haven't read Laura's awesome list from yesterday, go do so, and then tomorrow go to the Awesome Sarah's blog to see what she thinks her strengths and weaknesses are.


  1. I keep a list of all the words I overuse also. "Just" is definitely there, along with "only." That second one is a terrible mental tic I have in my writing.

  2. It is true when they say the first step is admitting you have a problem. ;) Great post!

  3. One of my many weaknesses is the same as Michelle's. I have words I overuse. I'm getting better at scouring them from the second draft.

  4. There's actually this neat app for the Mac called Wordcounter that analyzes and shows you a list of all the words in your document with their frequency. SO I just sort them by frequency and see which ones I use most.

  5. Are you kidding me? I need a Mac so bad. There are just too many cool programs. Great post!

  6. Nice post! I like your strategies for overcoming the things you want to work on. ;)

  7. oh yeah...I can so related to this! great post

  8. "I think weaknesses are only weaknesses if we fail to recognize them."

    I LOVE that line. So true. If we see a weakness, we can fix it. And you do write great voices and characters, and if you remember one of my blog chain posts, characters are what totally make a book. :-)


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