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[Writing Discussion] Personal Strengths & Weaknesses


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#1
Tythe

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Hello, fine peoples!

 

I am just curious for those aspiring writers on the site what they consider their personal strengths and weaknesses when it comes to writing.  You can talk about mechanical things (grammar, spelling, etc.) or more creative things (plot, settings, characters, etc.).

 

 

I guess I'll start.  When it comes to writing a story, I tend to create very fascinating settings, themes, and "rules".  Under the right circumstances, I am even good at creating a compelling idea for a character.  In short, I am very solid when it comes to creating everything needed to have a distinct story.

 

On the other side, I am awful at getting into the head of my characters (i.e. making them do things that would be natural from the way I'd originally written them), and I cannot for the life of me make good stories.  Plots tend to be big messes of unoriginal tropes that I can't figure out how to start or finish in any believable way.  Furthermore, I simply don't have enough real-life experience to write certain themes that my initial planning may call for (love, hate, work, conflict within your control, etc.).

 

So anyways, that's me.  How about you peeps?

 


Hello, fine peoples!

Oh hey, something notable I guess

#2
Tythe

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Anyone~?


Hello, fine peoples!

Oh hey, something notable I guess

#3
Arkars

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Constructing paragraphs. It's already hard enough for me to create phrases that can flow seamlessly, without being overly long or confusing. And with english not being my native language it is even more difficult.
Also, fixing the core motivations of the characters, I have too many ideas but I always try to fit them all in single characters, making them absolute messes until I finally decide to cut off what doesn't add depht but only contraddiction.

As for the strenght... I'd say creating inticated plots and characters with multi-layered purposes. I'm just a sucker for xanathos gambits and back-up plans.

#4
Dad

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I tend to struggle with grammatical errors. That said, I've improved drastically over time. I've gotten to the point that every chapter I write is a "rough draft" and subject to change before and after I make grammatical corrections.

I also tend to write on the fly with my ideas never being set in stone. While most my ideas do stick, I find that I change them in some matter or another later.

I consider both of these things to be weaknesses.
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#5
Fukato

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While I think I can write compelling characters, it's my writing and grammatical errors that can throw viewers off. Although I'm not as sure as I don't get that many reviews in the first place so I don't necessarily know how well I'm doing. One problem I'm sure I have is world building. I'm not that great at setting up a world that well.

#6
Dad

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While I think I can write compelling characters, it's my writing and grammatical errors that can throw viewers off. Although I'm not as sure as I don't get that many reviews in the first place so I don't necessarily know how well I'm doing. One problem I'm sure I have is world building. I'm not that great at setting up a world that well.


Build on something you're familiar with. After that, you'll already have a basic idea and you can let your imagination run wild. Once you've gotten used to this type of structure, you'll begin to make your own world with ease.
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#7
God Emperor Cow

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I am garbage at describing settings. As in actual details of buildings, areas, etc.

 

But I like to think I'm pretty good with action and character dialogue itself. Sometimes I wonder if I should write something besides a novel cause of this.


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#8
Flash Flyer - Sakura

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Let's see what I can come up with...

 

So yeah, I have more flaws as a creative writer than I do with strengths. I don't think stuff like length is a negative side effect of having to write technical reports (which are long by nature), but who knows?


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#9
chiagirl

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My strengths:

 

1.  I'd like to think my English itself is pretty good.  I always did well in my English / Language Arts classes, and I'm pretty good at noticing typos in other works.  While I don't doubt that a few errors of my own slip through, it shouldn't be enough to detract from the story.  

 

2.  My brain is the ultimate idea generator, and I have tons of story ideas on my fictionpress and fanfiction.net account (both under the same name as here) to prove it.  So lack of story ideas or characters usually isn't an issue for me. 

 

3.  As far as fanfics go, I like to think I'm pretty good at "getting into the head" of certain characters.  As such my most successful fics tend to be oneshots of a character thinking to themselves, as opposed to a multi chapter fic where there are multiple characters actually doing something. 

 

 

My weaknesses:

 

1.  I cannot describe surroundings or "set the scene" for the life of me, mostly because I rarely pay attention to my own surroundings in real life (which has lead to some problems).  As a result my stories tend to be overly dialogue heavy, and turn into a boring repeat of "he said, she said, etc." with little to break it up.  I can't really even break it up with action scenes either as I also struggle with those. 

 

2. I never have any of my ideas planned out from start to finish.  There are always a few scenes in the middle I know I want, and if I'm lucky I'll have the start or end planned out as well, but never both.  But as far as a complete outline of start - everything in the middle - ending, it's pretty much never happened.  I've only ever finished one multi chapter story because of this, and it was a fanfiction taking the characters of one anime and throwing them into the plot of another, which kind of avoided the problem as the plot was already planned out for me.  (Technically I guess I also finished book 1 of an original work based on a RP, but the RP ended up dying so I never got around to finishing the series.) 

 

3.  The story I see in my head plays out like a movie, so trying to find the words to translate that into book form isn't always easy.  I may know what I want a make-believe species to look like, but when I try to type that out it doesn't always end up coming out like I want it to.  Part of it is that there's just a limit to written language (a picture's worth a 1,000 words, reading a song will never be the same as listening to it, etc.) and part of it is just my lack of skill as a writer.  It also means I hardly ever get anywhere do to trying to revise something a billion times and still not being happy with it.

 

 

I guess the tldr version is that I have tons of ideas that will never see the light of day because I'm bad at describing things and never have the full story planned out. 



#10
Dova

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2. I never have any of my ideas planned out from start to finish.  There are always a few scenes in the middle I know I want, and if I'm lucky I'll have the start or end planned out as well, but never both.  But as far as a complete outline of start - everything in the middle - ending, it's pretty much never happened.  I've only ever finished one multi chapter story because of this, and it was a fanfiction taking the characters of one anime and throwing them into the plot of another, which kind of avoided the problem as the plot was already planned out for me.  (Technically I guess I also finished book 1 of an original work based on a RP, but the RP ended up dying so I never got around to finishing the series.)


Basically this, but in combination with another fault that extends past writing; deadlines. I struggle so much with procrastination, and if I don't have a hard and fast deadline, it's really hard for me to put the whip to my own back, so to speak. This has lead to so many stories that I drop as soon as I start to struggle with, and is definitely something I need to work on.

One thing I'm pretty sure I'm actually good at is showing, not telling. This I (bregrudgingly) admit I almost certainly got from the creative writing through school, and people say I'm a good DM in DnD and Call of Cthulhu when I do have a story to work with. Preferably not a last minute one.



#11
Thar

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Well, of all my attempts at starting to write something and then stopping, it always seems to be one of a few reasons:

 

1. Sudden loss of interest. Not sure if it's my "depression" or that it's just my "ADD" - none of which are diagnosed - but either way, I've lost count of how many times I've thought of something, started writing or even just outlining a plot, and then just scrapped it completely because I just wanted to do something else.

 

2. Converting a concept into a plot. That tends to get me a lot. I come up with these concepts that sound really interesting and I want to write about it, but then it gets to the point where I try to make a story out of it and it just gradually becomes less and less interesting.

 

3. Not enough readers. Fuck me if I finally finish writing something that I feel somewhat proud of, share it, and then get no feedback whatsoever. Either no feedback or troll feedback. I dunno how Pika does it. She writes and posts chapter after chapter and almost no one comments or even acknowledges it. I wish I had that kind of dedication.


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#12
Conflicted

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Strengths

Worldbuilding: Maybe it's just because I really enjoy this part, but I've always been able to create really detailed and immersive worlds with distinct lore and mechanics. 

Characters: I've been told my characters feel like people and are compelling and easy to relate to.

Plot: Engaging plots that aren't always predictable are something I've worked to be able to create consistently. As a general rule my premises are interesting and the plot lines spring naturally from there.

 

Weaknesses

Dialogue: I suck at dialogue and giving my characters are distinctive voice. I've gotten a lot better in recent years but this will forever be the weakest part of my writing. I have to really work my ass off here.

Grammar: I have a good grasp on the English language (which is good since I'm a native speaker lol) but for some reason when I write/type that goes out the window and I find myself making really stupid mistakes.

Editing: Then as an added bonus I suck at actually finding those mistakes when I edit.



#13
The Warden

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(_|Strengths|_)

  1. Natural grasp of English with a vast dialect allowing me to rotate and spice up my writing.
  2. Fast writing allowing me to produce large pieces of work over a short period of time.
  3. Good grasp of world-building such that I produce a vibrant world over time.
  4. Good characterization to ensure characters I design act and grow as intended.
  5. Jack-of-all-trades mentality that allows me to tackle anything and work with those themes.
  6. Vast imagination allowing me to dream up over time creative pieces of work.
  7. Adept at using elements already present in canon franchises for use in fanworks.

(_|Weaknesses|_)

  1. Motivation to write is non-existent 95% of the day.
  2. Shaky beginnings when working with new stuff.
  3. At times dialogue is too similar between characters.

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