Insecure Writers Support Group: January Edition
As a writer, or as a person in any field in the world, we all have to admit there is something we struggle in or just can't do as well as we would like. There are some who are fabulous with romance, but can't do a thing when it comes to thriller or adventure. There are some who can only write nonfiction and find fiction too much out-there to handle.
I think the first step in any weakness is admitting that you have them. Even if you never want to branch out of the romance genre, just admitting it is difficult for you to do any other genre is a right step rather than simply saying you don't like the other genres (not like this is not acceptable or true). If you can find me a writer that can do every length, age group, and genre and you might have found Jesus who has been watching the world before the next End of the World.
It just, probably (never say never after all), is not possible for one person to not only write them all but write them all good, not great or fantastic, but simply good.
So for the start of the new year, before we all start on our resolutions, let's look at the flaws and struggles we have. Admitting and facing them are huge in terms of overcoming them and making them stronger.
Here are my writer's weakness:
1) Short stories/micros/minis: I really want to get better at this but I seem to struggle with the short stories compared to the long ones. Even with my fan fiction, I do better when I do chapters upon chapters or pages upon pages than a one-shot. My best story-example (one I am most proud of and has some of the most reviews) is 26 chapters and over 400,000 words. That is my comfort zone. To me, writing less is so difficult and those who are able to tell a wonderful and condensed story is just too awesome for me and my brain to handle.
2) Over-detail/Analyzing: This is a weakness I have in talking as well. I struggle just communicating simply and straightforward. I want to explain and elaborate. I tell as story within a story within a story because that is just how my brain works. It can get confusing and way too elaborate and long. Instead of simply saying "he walked to the main door" I might go "he moved up to the entrance to the intimidating mansion, taking note of all the silvery cobwebs that blew in the fall breeze". This isn't bad every so often, but I feel I do it way more than I probably should. Within many writing books, it is key to be simple. I don't always take the simple route when I should.
3) Too Much Character: I think I have a tendency in putting too much on the characters. This isn't too bad if I still balanced it out with the plot and other aspects of writing. But sometimes I think I put too much concentration on the character, their relationship, details, and movement and it takes away from the plot longer than it should. A story will typically work with characters and plot, especially for young adult fantasy. It can't just be dissecting a character or giving each person who enters the scene a in depth background story.
4) Grammar: Yes, I can be hit with the nasty-grammar. It's hard to remember it all! At least this one isn't the biggest issue. Just re-reading, getting a few BETAs, and editors. But it is pretty bad when you're an English major and still struggle with placement of some of the punctuation.
5) Moving On: It is hard to move on from a chapter or a paragraph or even a sentence until I get it right. I seem to put up a mental block that prevents me from writing until everything beforehand is perfect. Even though it is good to try and pull the best from the story, it should not hinder an author from completing the story. And sadly, I can do this to myself. Pulling a cameo from a previous blog-post of mine, I struggle to find the Good Enough at times. How can you ever complete something if you can't move on?
6) Genre-Horror/Mystery/Angst/Emotional: I honestly enjoy horror and mystery in shows and books. I'm fascinated by the paranormal (though it terrifies me) and give me a good mystery book and I'll be happy. But these are very hard genres. With mystery-driven stories you need to really watch what is revealed and how it is. How much the audience can figure out. Twists and turns. Bad guys and epic reveals. Then with horror, it is all about the tension and the pace, making a person's stomach twist and get the perfect reaction. It's hard! I will say I am not big on Angst or Drama focused books. I think that genre should be brought in, but I can't handle sadness so I don't read books that are super emotional or angst-driven (such as teen-drama books about drugs, rape, etc.). I have never tried a purely emotional-angst-driven story before and I'm sure I will ever try simply because I do not want to start bawling.
7) Genre-Nonfiction: This is very hard for me. I don't typically read it, I have yet to go to the Nonfiction section of any bookstore and pick one up. I also find it very hard to write. It feels like it takes a lot of effort and a lot of special talent to be able to write a nonfiction story. However, this is another one I don't think I have made an actual attempt for one.
8) Resisting the Romance: I can't tell you how I always twitch to add some form of Romance in everything I write. And if something doesn't have romance, all I want to do is add it in. But what is weird is that I don't typically enjoy fluffy romance (especially YA or Teen) books.
Well, I know I have a lot more, but these would have to be some of my main ones. Each writer has one or more and it is part of the process to look and accept these weaknesses before either moving on or facing them to better one's talent. It is just another step in being a professional writer, I believe.
What about you all? Got any weaknesses to share?