What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

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dios4vida
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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by dios4vida » February 7th, 2012, 10:47 am

I have to fight against my perfectionism a lot, too. Those who've gotten manuscripts critiqued from me know that I nitpick. A lot. Granted, a lot of it tends to make the content better, but I've shocked more than a few people by returning perfectly good pages with more red on them than black. And it's not that I pick on people - I'm actually worse on my own work than on others'.

I've repetatively drilled the "don't get it perfect" mantra into my head over the last year or so. I have it written on my dry erase board next to my desk so that I have to stare at it as I work. I'm far from having it ingrained in me, but I've gotta say it's helped me a lot. I write a lot faster than I used to, and while my edits are a little more harsh (yikes!) I think the sheer productivity has encouraged me to the point where I feel like I'm a better writer, which makes me happy to work and learn and in turn makes me a better writer. I still let the perfectionist go crazy with the red pen, but during that first draft I'm learning to just cringe and leave the clunky prose. (Not the clunky plot aspects!! I made that mistake and it nearly ruined my last WIP.)
Brenda :)

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MattLarkin
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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by MattLarkin » February 7th, 2012, 11:24 am

Now that's a different kind of perfectionism, and perhaps more of a problem. The inability to finish a draft because you keep scraping it--well if it's bad then you may need to scrap it. But really, until you've finished and taken a few weeks away, it's hard to be objective. It may seem bad now, but when the book is finished, you may realize it's not too bad. Or not too hard to fix.
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GingerWrite
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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by GingerWrite » February 8th, 2012, 9:54 pm

Hm. Very hard to say. Besides motivation (there always seems like there's chores to be done or books to read) I'd say it's trying to be artistic. I write young adult fiction. A lot of my artsy stuff gets cut in revision. Which is good. It's all just hangover from school when I would be required to use flowery language and ample description to make the teacher "see" what was happening. I'm still working through that problem.
Luckily I have a great crit partner who calls me on that stuff.
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Worlds can grow and crumble beneath a writer's pen. We just need to find the right one.
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TL Rese
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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by TL Rese » February 10th, 2012, 1:19 pm

i have No Clue what it feels like to read one of my novels. i think if i could become a 100% objective reader of my own writing, it would make me a much better self-editor. unfortunately, it's impossible. =(

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MattLarkin
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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by MattLarkin » February 10th, 2012, 7:10 pm

TL Rese wrote:i have No Clue what it feels like to read one of my novels. i think if i could become a 100% objective reader of my own writing, it would make me a much better self-editor. unfortunately, it's impossible. =(
Beta readers are your friends. Even after beta readers, a professional editor will (and agent if you have one) will come at your novel with fresh eyes.

Also, take a break after finishing it before editing. After a month away you may not be objective, but you will see it with a new perspective.
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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by Transitoria » February 10th, 2012, 7:16 pm

I'm finding that my weakness is my writing website content. It's so different from writing fiction that I fear my fiction is going to suffer. Yikes! I've worked so hard to improve in that area that I want nothing to weaken it, but I do need the paycheck.

www.TammySetzerDenton.com

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TL Rese
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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by TL Rese » February 11th, 2012, 8:19 am

MattLarkin wrote:
TL Rese wrote:i have No Clue what it feels like to read one of my novels. i think if i could become a 100% objective reader of my own writing, it would make me a much better self-editor. unfortunately, it's impossible. =(
Beta readers are your friends. Even after beta readers, a professional editor will (and agent if you have one) will come at your novel with fresh eyes.

Also, take a break after finishing it before editing. After a month away you may not be objective, but you will see it with a new perspective.
thanks! i kno, i let my writing "rest" for a time so that i can try to forget it, then come back to it with fresher eyes. other readers and editors are also Great - but i still wish i had some kind of superpower to make myself 100% objective.

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AnnElise
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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by AnnElise » February 12th, 2012, 9:39 pm

I have a lot of trouble writing male dialogue. My current protagonist is rather intelligent, so he's not the strong and silent type (mostly). I have trouble making sure his dialogue isn't too feminine so I'm trying to focus on concrete things rather than the emotions surrounding them. It doesn't always work.

Then again, I'm also quite a perfectionist...
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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by Cookie » February 12th, 2012, 10:23 pm

trixie wrote:This is one of those situations where I'm afraid to list them all...

1. Internet: I can't seem to log off and write.

2. Melting Pot Theory: this is where I keep coming up with another great idea, then another, and another... and before you know it, I have a thousand "great ideas!" in my story. This usually leaves me pulling my hair out as I try to pull all the threads together at the end.

3. Self-doubt: This can take on a variety of forms. I suspect we've all experienced it.
Pretty much all of these. I tend to under-describe too, but randomly. I had a CP recently tell me I described all the characters perfectly. Except for the pov character. Oops. Also, my settings could use more description.

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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by writersink » February 14th, 2012, 8:13 am

Oh, and I also have no idea how to write action scenes, which is kinda sad seeing as though I'm writing a science fiction. =(

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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by clairavance » February 14th, 2012, 8:01 pm

My writing weakness would be my inner editor.
I can't NOT reread the last page I wrote before continuing on. And I can't NOT edit it when a place catches my eye where I can improve.
But hey, I'm getting better. At least now it's only the last page. It used to be the whole last chapter. No wonder I never get my books done.
This I guess also ties in with perfectionism. Nothing can ever be good enough. There is always room for improvement.
If I'm asked how many drafts I did before the published work, I'd probably convulse in hysterical laughter and say something insane like '100+ times!' Because I revise and edit every time I sit down to write. Which at the moment is only once a day, but as my daily routines change, my writing schedule adapts.

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Walker
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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by Walker » February 14th, 2012, 9:26 pm

clairavance wrote:My writing weakness would be my inner editor.
I can't NOT reread the last page I wrote before continuing on. And I can't NOT edit it when a place catches my eye where I can improve.
But hey, I'm getting better. At least now it's only the last page. It used to be the whole last chapter. No wonder I never get my books done.
This I guess also ties in with perfectionism. Nothing can ever be good enough. There is always room for improvement.
If I'm asked how many drafts I did before the published work, I'd probably convulse in hysterical laughter and say something insane like '100+ times!' Because I revise and edit every time I sit down to write. Which at the moment is only once a day, but as my daily routines change, my writing schedule adapts.
I used to do this all the time, and yes, it makes it very hard to finish anything! I finally have gotten so I can just keep plowing ahead, knowing I'll go back later and smooth everything out.

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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by washingtonwriter1968 » February 14th, 2012, 10:51 pm

My weakness I think is being on the verge of plot points that I emotionally fight to not to go! My writing often suffers for this.As a result. Sadly, the result is that if I finally get around to adding the point, my timing is off, and my reader no longer cares about the point.they are just glad I finished a point LOL!. This may may be due to the fact I am so new to this craft. As time goes by, I hope I get better at this and the more I try to do this the better I get. Anyway, any ideas on how to fix some of this issue? If I could get past this issue, I might actually get somewhere and finish a book.
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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by writersink » February 16th, 2012, 6:28 am

washingtonwriter1968 wrote:My weakness I think is being on the verge of plot points that I emotionally fight to not to go! My writing often suffers for this.As a result. Sadly, the result is that if I finally get around to adding the point, my timing is off, and my reader no longer cares about the point.they are just glad I finished a point LOL!. This may may be due to the fact I am so new to this craft. As time goes by, I hope I get better at this and the more I try to do this the better I get. Anyway, any ideas on how to fix some of this issue? If I could get past this issue, I might actually get somewhere and finish a book.
Be harder on yourself. Once you have a plot point, stick to it. There are times when I hate my WIP and I think about how easier my life would be if I just quit. Then I remember how much blood, sweat and tears have gone into making it and I tell myself not to be so silly. I can't just leave my characters dangling in thin air! Try asking a friend to read a chapter of your work every week (preferably one you are scared of). It gives you a target to work to and then you'll HAVE to get your book done.

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Falen
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Re: What is your writing weakness? (Let's call this therapy)

Post by Falen » February 16th, 2012, 4:33 pm

Mine seem to switch up, depending on what i'm writing. Though i always seem to have to fluff up my descriptions, so that's a general weakness of mine
"She said she cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful and life was so short." - Brian Andreas

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