Thursday, March 23, 2006

Write to your strengths

I've been pretty frustrated with my writing lately. This is easy to do because I keep encountering examples of writing that is so much beyond mine that I wonder why I even try. For example, Mary DeMuth's post at The Master's Artist on Tuesday, and the ensuing comments were wonderful, lyrical, evocative writing. I realized that sometimes I may think the muse is dancing within, but what it looks like on the outside is ungainly and ineffective.

But dwelling on the negative is not usually productive, or at least not very healthy. I want to learn and that involves accepting criticism, and I can do that. But another part of growing as a writer is learning to build on your strengths.

So what are your strengths? Have you ever sat down and figured out what it is you do really well? I feel like I'm getting a sense of some areas where I'm stronger than others. I think I write dialogue better than description -- I hear my characters better than I see them. So maybe I should find ways to make my dialogue snap and crackle, which would help make the characters more vivid, too. See, that's what I mean about building on strengths. (Of course, I want to work on improving descriptions, too.)


Michelle Pendergrass said...

I feel like I'm better at dialogue as well. Can we make a whole story of just people talking?

*snicker* that's called something else, isn't it?

Hope Wilbanks said...

I haven't sat down just to figure out what all my strengths are specifically. I do know this: I picked up the first few chapters of a book I started last year and was astounded at how much I have learned and grown over a year--and didn't even know it! I think it's important to remember that even if you can't see your own progress (or strengths) they are there. ;)

lindaruth said...

I'm much the same way -- I look back at what I wrote a year or more ago and see a lot of improvement. It's a growing process.
Thanks for stopping by Hope!