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Writer's Block:
Your Flaw(s) as a Writer
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Your Flaw(s) as a Writer:

 1 d Roy, Sat, 16th Apr '11 11:39:23 PM Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
...is that I'm EXTREMELY illiterate.

Ok, name a classic book. The chances are, I haven't read it. When you people talk about books by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Stephen King, I go "Oh, fuck."

It gets worse; I also have very low attention span so can't read anything complex. Have no trouble with complex and perhaps boring movies, but books....

I mean, seriously, it makes me very depressed, considering that I want to be a writer...

 2 annebeeche, Sat, 16th Apr '11 11:49:45 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
I have almost the opposite problem. Pretty much the only books I read are time-tested classics from a wide variety of time periods, and I've read very few works from the present day.

I also have a terrible attention span so I go through books about as quickly as I can dig through solid rock.

edited 16th Apr '11 11:50:50 PM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
◥▶◀◤
I have the attention span issue I basically read the first line of your post hit post then hit back and decided to read the rest. Yet I managed to read Frankenstein cover to back at age 12 in about 2 weeks only under English periods. But last year it took me about 6 months to finish one book.

I also have horrible spelling and grammar but that is what editors are for. as I hear a lot of writers share this flaw.

The final one is procrastination and my inability to stick with one idea.

Also I'm a perfectionist.

Ps. I also tend to write more than my own attention span has the ability to read.

edited 16th Apr '11 11:58:10 PM by Vyctorian

Rarely active, try DA/Tumblr Avatar by pippanaffie.deviantart.com
Everyone smokes. I never intend them to, it just happens. The bugger with the latest one is I've noticed this, but every character has a real characterising moment based on them smoking.
 
 5 annebeeche, Sun, 17th Apr '11 1:05:10 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
I happen to have a few personal expies:

  • The "Emmanuel", a cute, fluffy-minded young male with no upper body strength, no self-confidence and is often a Distressed Dude. AB!Beowulf plays this almost straight, with the exception that he's able to wiggle himself out of traumatizing situations.
  • The "Borghild", a Jerk with a Heart of Gold female of some kind. She's pretty absorbed in what she's doing and objectifies males. Is often The Emmanuel's girlfriend.
    • There's a darker variation on The Borghild in which she is not a Jerk with a Heart of Gold but a socially isolated Complete Monster and delights in sexual and physical abuse of The Emmanuel. Grendel's mother plays this straight.
  • The abusive/angry or distant mother figure.
  • The kind, caring father figure.

I'm aware of the expies so I try to avert or subvert them, but in any of my works I look at I'm still able to identify at least half of them.

edited 17th Apr '11 1:09:14 AM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 6 d Roy, Sun, 17th Apr '11 1:17:09 AM Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
In addition to my illiteracy, I also tend to design my characters as teenagers. All attractive ones at that and in the end Violence is the Only Option.

 7 annebeeche, Sun, 17th Apr '11 1:24:27 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
My ages for my characters are pretty reasonable for whatever positions they happen to be in, but they're still on the young side of things.

I don't really make my characters attractive in the main story with the exception of The Emmanuel, but I think of all of my characters as being good-looking in their own way.
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
Not really a problem, but if we're talking about people we always put in: Roy Kyle. There is always a man named Roy Kyle. He's been a waiter, a gunslinger, a private detective, a lovestruck squatter and an unemployed anime fan so far. Oh, and he's always a deadpan snarker.
 
 9 Loni Jay, Sun, 17th Apr '11 1:30:14 AM from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
I seem to have this sort-of-expy character template that hangs around a hell of a lot - Defiant Teenage Male. Over and over again, there are variations in personality but those three traits are always there. Hopefully I'll get him out of my system soon, whoever he is.

However, my critical flaw as a writer is more a stunning lack of stamina and motivation.
Be not afraid...
I'd consider myself illiterate, and am trying to rectify it.
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 11 animemetalhead, Sun, 17th Apr '11 1:54:26 AM from Ashwood Landing, ME
Runs on Awesomeness
Meh, all my characters start out being expies, either of other author's works or of original characters in works of mine, which were probably expies when they were first created.

The trick, of course, is Character Development. The same basic character thrown in a different situation will grow differently, or at least, that's how I justify it to myself tongue
No one believes me when I say angels can turn their panties into guns.
 12 d Roy, Sun, 17th Apr '11 1:58:47 AM Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
I actually started this thread to bitch about my problem, but pretty glad it derailed into something more...productive. I like that.

Can an (well, relatively) illiterate dude can be a decent writer?

edited 17th Apr '11 2:02:46 AM by dRoy

 13 Wolf 1066, Sun, 17th Apr '11 2:03:53 AM from New Zealand Relationship Status: In my bunk
Wolf1066
Most of my characters tend to be based on people I know, including myself - OK, details get changed, there's a bit of mix 'n' match going on and they get other skills based on what the situation demands but personality-wise it's me and people I know.

It's laziness, I'm sure. Something happens to a character, I just have to imagine how the real person upon whom the character is based would react in that situation - then use whatever skills the character brings to make that reaction happen.

I'll pinch backgrounds, likes and dislikes, inter-character histories etc out of real life and throw them all into the story. e.g. one of the characters has known the protagonist for as long as the person upon whom the character was based has known me - so I've got an extremely good idea of the level of friendship, shared history and trust those two people have. Another character is made up of the personality of one friend with the interests and hobbies (and therefore related skills) of another friend.
Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
Can an (well, relatively) illiterate dude can be a decent writer?

Decent? Absolutely. But well, a lot of great works have trappings of past great works in them. The Wire, for instance, was heavily inspired by Greek Tragedy, according to David Simon. There's probably a degree of reading you should be doing if you want to write something new. A couple of great works within the genre by different writers, and a couple of horrible ones. Just to look at what the good ones did right, and what the horrible ones did wrong. Also Greek Tragedy. It inspired Shakespeare and David Simon. That's never a bad sign. Seneca did some awesome tragedies.
 
 15 Loni Jay, Sun, 17th Apr '11 2:15:20 AM from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
The same basic character thrown in a different situation will grow differently, or at least, that's how I justify it to myself

Yeah, I do this a lot. I should write out a little evolutionary tree one day, to show how Nameless Guy No152 gave rise to four entirely different people, stories and worlds.
Be not afraid...
 16 Arsidias, Sun, 17th Apr '11 4:31:22 AM from Los Angeles
Often too wordy.

 17 annebeeche, Sun, 17th Apr '11 4:35:22 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
Now, I usually write with a small cast of characters, so whenever I write a significantly larger cast, I end up with a thickly matted Kudzu plot.

The reason why is because I'm not use to characters entering, playing the role in the story that they were created for and doing little else. They end up with character arcs, related characters that also have their own arcs that may also be intertwined with the main plot, and so on.
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 18 Dec, Sun, 17th Apr '11 4:35:58 AM from The Dance Floor
Stayin' Alive
I've got Vyctorian's problem — aka, "attention span of a gnat". Probably one of the biggest examples (one that I'm still a tad ashamed of) is that I've never made it through The Lord of the Rings, even after trying about seven different times over the years. I only got out of the Shire once.

In terms of writing, that translates into not being able to keep writing anything in order. The only way I've managed to get as far as I have on my current projects is from literally jumping all over the place and writing scenes a few hundred words at a time with very little rhyme, reason, or order. My first draft is the most ADD thing you will ever lay eyes on.
Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit
Deviantart.
 19 annebeeche, Sun, 17th Apr '11 4:39:10 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
The only reason why I got through The Two Towers (and I didn't even finish that) is because it starred the Rohirrim.

I have a different variety of ADD writing in which I somehow manage to go into great detail about anything and everything that does not move the plot.
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 20 Dec, Sun, 17th Apr '11 5:12:38 AM from The Dance Floor
Stayin' Alive
^ I get like that when I slide into Contemplate Our Navels or Expospeak, to the point that it'll overwhelm everything else around it. And its really not helped by the fact that I might revisit a topic multiple times, so most of it will become patronizingly redundant to anyone reading it. I am getting a bit better at catching myself, though.
Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit
Deviantart.
 21 chihuahua 0, Sun, 17th Apr '11 7:16:15 AM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
My biggest flaw is that I can't finish a personal writing project. My first attempt at a novel (which was Dungeons and Dragons-based) in elementry school ended in 205 pages of looseleaf, and is still sitting on my shelf to this day. My Kira Is Justice work ended at around 40, 000 words.

Oh, my male protagonists suffer from Only Six Faces. All under 25, same haircut (bangs combed to the side), all white, same general body type (scrawny, lanky, or slim), general facial features (can't really describe them anyways)...Hopefully, I'm trying to avert the haircuts, but it will be a long time until I have a plump male protagonist.

Oh, I hadn't really done any second drafts yet, since the stories I had finished had been very short. It's quite noticable in Kira Is Justice, which I post right off the press.

 22 Major Tom, Sun, 17th Apr '11 7:25:28 AM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
My biggest flaw is I'm a Ridiculous Procrastinator. Though my completion rate in the last 2 months has increased, it might still be days or more before I touch writing.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
[up] Procrastination, in addition to obsessive editing. It takes a long time for me to finish something, and more often than not, the story has been edited twenty times before it's even finished.

Though I'm improving slightly on my turnover rates. Hopefully, I'll actually get to the stage when I can write a novel a little bit faster than a snail travelling around the world.

 24 Mr AHR, Sun, 17th Apr '11 8:15:33 AM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Dialogue, I guess. I don't really know, to be honest.
 25 Ronka 87, Sun, 17th Apr '11 8:28:56 AM from the mouth of madness.
Maid of Win
Not finishing projects would probably be the biggest one. It used to be "not writing, " but I've been working on that. Another one is difficulty committing to one project, which is part and parcel to the "not finishing projects" flaw.
Thanks for the all fish!
Total posts: 322
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