Am I A Weak Writer? Or A Strong Storyteller? – Teens Can Write, Too! May 2015 Blog Chain

tcwt-3[1]This month’s prompt is:

“What is your greatest weakness as a writer?
What’s your greatest strength?”

Ooh, nice. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this topic before, so this should be a fun post to write. I’ll think I’ll make some lists… because lists are awesome! But I’m going to flip the question around, and discuss my strengths first because then the “weaknesses” section will make more sense.

Engie’s Writing Strengths

1. Finding ideas. I have more ideas – for both stories and blog posts – than I know what to do with! I get at least one new idea, or a neat variation on a previous idea, per DAY. I find my ideas anywhere and everywhere: People, memories, music, stories written by other people. I never have to worry about running out of ideas.

2. Including diverse characters. 2011!Engie was not very good at this – all her characters were cis straight white people. UGHHHHHH SO BORING. But I’m better at writing diversity now. One of the most important developments in my whole remembering-to-write-diversely thing was when I deleted the male love interest from one of my fave stories and replaced him with a girl – until then, I’d been trying to write a guy/girl romance and I got SO BORED and couldn’t figure out why they had literally zero romantic tension in any of their scenes. Now like 98% of my characters are queer women…

Engie’s Writing Weaknesses

1. Actually writing up all those ideas. I HAVE SUCH A PROBLEM WITH THIS. In writer-y corners of the Internet, I’ve often seen some variation of the phrase, “Ideas are easy. Executing those ideas is hard.” And I COMPLETELY agree with it – I have a huuuuge problem when it comes to finishing any of my many, many projects. I become distracted and forget about my latest idea in favor of… another idea! I really need to work on this.

2. Writing good dialogue. I have a tendency to make my characters infodump in conversations. Or they spend pointlessly long periods of time introducing themselves / saying goodbye to each other / et cetera. Or I write fascinating stuff like, “What’s up?” “Nothing much.” GAHHHH.

3. Naming my characters. Oh, eventually I find the perfect names for all my characters. But in the first draft? Things are pretty rough. I have been known to give my characters generic names such as Bob because I just couldn’t think of the right name at the moment, and didn’t want to spend forever thinking of one. (Because then I get distracted, and heaven knows that’s the last thing I need!) So I’m very fond of using “place-holder names,” as I call them.

4. Procrastinating. I spend hours fervently wishing that I were sitting in front of my computer or holding a notebook and pencil in my hands, and then when I actually get a chance to write… I don’t. All of a sudden I remember all the other things I desperately “need” to do, like updating my Facebook status or watching videos of cute puppies and kittens. I’ll have you know that I procrastinated on finishing this blog post by A) watching a video of a bird laughing like a supervillain, B) googling “which Wolverine comics should I begin with,” and C) flailing with Orphu @ A Mirror Made of Words about gay stuff on Agent Carter. I AM THE PROCRASTINATION QUEEN.

5. Not wanting to do research. Not unless it involves watching dorky cat videos, apparently. I haaaaate doing most research, even when it’s for a story idea I particularly love. It just bores me, OK? Sometimes I just make stuff up because I can’t be bothered to check my notes, or even make notes at all, which probably isn’t the best/most ethical writerly decision I’ve ever made. Oops.

-~-

Well, there they are: My writing strengths and weaknesses. I’m not proud of having more weaknesses than strengths, but oh well. (I can always try to fix them!) What are your writing strengths and weaknesses? Can you relate to any of my problems and/or successes?

And, most importantly: What do YOU consider my writing strengths and weaknesses? Don’t be shy – I’m curious to see what you think of my writing!

Want to follow our blog chain? Here are the participating parties, day by day:

5th — The Little Engine That Couldn’t

6th — Ariel Kalati, Writer

8th — Galloping Free

9th — Miriam Joy Writes

10th — The Ramblings of Aravis

13th — Light and Shadows

15th — Musings from Neville’s Navel

16th — The World of the Writer

19th — Butterflies of the Imagination

20th — Introspection Creative

22nd — Spellbound

24th — Unikke Lyfe

25th — The Long Life of a Lifelong Fangirl

27th — Against the Shadows

29th — Teens Can Write, Too (We’ll announce the topic for June’s chain!)

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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6 Responses to Am I A Weak Writer? Or A Strong Storyteller? – Teens Can Write, Too! May 2015 Blog Chain

  1. Clarice says:

    From what I’ve seen from your blog, I think your strengths are your colorful and stand-out voice, passion, and consistency. 🙂

  2. This is pretty much me, haha. Although I’m pretty good at dialogue – I suck at plot. But yeah, I have a MILLION ideas but most of them never get down on paper. Also, I’m good at first drafts but really bad at rewriting haha. I haven’t read much of your writing, though – THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE. Need any CPs…? 🙂

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ugh, I hate rewriting! 😛 I know it’s necessary – usually LOTS of revisions are necessary – but UGH. I do not like it.

      Yeah, actually, I could always use some more! I’ll have to email you / PM you on Facebook about that soon. 🙂

  3. Cait says:

    This is suuuuch a good prompt and I cry because I can’t join into this hop anymore. WAH. Maybe I’ll just quietly steal it anyway and embrace my inner youthfulness? OMg, I feel old. ANYWAY. I totally agree with the naming. That’s usually the bane of my existences. Like, even titles are awful. I end up calling my book something astounding like “Six”. -_- OH. And I get a million ideas, but zero characters. Then I get worried that my characters will all sound the same, aghhhh it’s a quandary. One day I’ll be good at diversity too. xD But, I kind of hesitate a lot of the time, because I know people can be SUPER offended if they read a diverse character badly represented. 0-0 It’s a lot of pressure. *gulps*
    Loved this post!! XD

    • nevillegirl says:

      *patpat* You ARE old, Cait. JK!

      Pffft, sometimes my characters all sound the same, too. Especially the supporting characters? The protagonists are usually quite different, but the side characters sometimes seem like copies of one another. Oops. I need to work on that…

      Oh my gosh, thank you! 🙂

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