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Your Weaknesses In Writing Things:

So you never get the whole you know exactly what should happen next, but you don't want to because it's just a bridge (boring, but necessary) and you're not quite sure how to fill it out to make it interesting?

Was that question directed at me? If so, not really.

edited 10th Apr '13 5:16:54 AM by fillerdude

 27 Red Eyes Negro Dragon, Wed, 10th Apr '13 5:51:58 AM from straight outta Compton
OG
Trying to write things smoothly, trying to write things cleverly, keeping characterization consistent and procrastination.

 28 Morwen Edhelwen, Wed, 10th Apr '13 2:38:37 PM from Sydney, Australia
Tolkien freak
So since we have weaknesses, does anyone want to discuss how to deal with them? For example, how do I deal with this problem with "show vs tell"? It keeps recurring.

edited 10th Apr '13 2:38:58 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on. -Tolkien
1. Not enough description of settings. I'm a lot better at describing what the characters are thinking then where they are or what they're doing.

2. Making my characters sound different when they talk.

 30 Night, Thu, 11th Apr '13 10:11:17 AM from PSNS Intrepid Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Who you are does not matter.
Ironically the thing that most frightens me currently is that someone has told me I'm quite good at conveying genuine pain. I worry this means I'm getting angst on my stories when I don't want to.
Trusted Poster of Legitimate Advice (from Wo-Chan)
@ Morwen

Good idea.

If any of you DO know how to do your thing, feel free to recap your experiences in doing it to others.

Aspiring Writer
I tend to cut to the chase and skip the parts I myself would find boring.
“Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” ― Stephen King http://thespellcraftcolumn.wordpress.com/
 33 Editor Pall Mall, Thu, 11th Apr '13 2:53:51 PM from United States, East Coast
Don't Fear the Spiders
For me my weakness in writing is - well not writing. Fortunately, I am improving.

A lot of weaknesses brought up in this thread are addressed on the excellent podcast writing excuses; particularly the earlier episodes.
Keep it breezy!
Procrastination aside, I struggle with world building disorder and I suck at making characters "sound different".

edited 13th Apr '13 9:17:18 PM by nekomoon14

Winter is coming.
 35 Tuckerscreator, Sat, 13th Apr '13 9:36:09 PM from The Death Star Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Every film should end with a Deus T. rex Machina
Names, names, names for me.
I hear it's amazing when the famous purple stuffed worm in flap-jaw space with a tuning fork does a raw blink on Hari-Kiri rock.
i seee youuuu
The overuse of Seinfeldian Conversations and writing myself into corners.

edited 13th Apr '13 9:45:17 PM by TwentyTwoSevenths

YOU'LL PAY FOR THE WHOLE SEAT, BUT YOU'LL ONLY NEED THE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDGE!!!
Getting past the worldbuiling/outlining phase, remembering that the major characters need to be interesting too, procrastinating, there's a VERY long list

 38 Editor Pall Mall, Sun, 14th Apr '13 4:27:18 PM from United States, East Coast
Don't Fear the Spiders
[up]I'm confused by your second problem. Would not the solution be to make the more interesting "secondary" characters the focus of the story?
Keep it breezy!
 39 Masterofchaos, Sun, 14th Apr '13 5:25:17 PM Relationship Status: In Lesbians with you
I don't have a Christmas icon yet
My problems: Besides grammar, I have a hard time with being consistent with personalities, "show don't tell", description, and dialogue.
 40 Redneck Rocker, Sun, 14th Apr '13 6:12:20 PM from None Of Your Business
First Loyalty: Yourself
One of my friends has let me occasionally read some of his stuff, and there's one thing I've noticed with his character descriptions.

With me, I usually mention a few basic details, and as the story progresses, mention other things.

With him, on the other hand, it's more like a police report, going a little TOO much into detail about tattoos, clothing, hair color and style, etc. Occasionally, it causes the story to screech to a halt so strong, you can hear the brakes.
Embroiled in slave rebellion, I escaped crucifixion simply by declaring 'I am Vito', everyone else apparently being called 'Spartacus'.
 41 Gaon, Mon, 15th Apr '13 10:53:04 AM from Grim Up North Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
[up] I solve that through some really poetic descriptions when I go in too much detail [such as saying "A man as clad in red as the fire and brimstone in the book of the Lord" to describe someone with a red suit], though I don't do that very often so I won't sound like a Large Ham.

Speaking of which, that's something with my writing style: I am very over-the-top. You know how Dilios describes everything as mind-blowingly epic in 300? Yeah, I write like that [I even dubbed it the "Dillios Writing Style"]
 42 Squeakythemaster, Wed, 17th Apr '13 1:42:37 PM from Somewhere in the U of K
Where there's will. There's a claim.
My weaknesses would be: Good speech Describing people Actually writing I'd say these are my big ones. I'm sure I'll think of countless nitpicks later.
"I'll fight you anytime, except on the toilet"
 43 everyfloatingcat, Wed, 17th Apr '13 9:02:15 PM from Ireland Relationship Status: Charming Titania with a donkey face
everyfloatingcat
Dialogue has always been a big problem for me, as I'm just a dreadful conversationalist in real life. I think I have a decent grasp of giving characters distinct voices/styles, but overall things like responses and pacing often come off as stilted and unnatural.

Another one is somehow always managing to forget that reading lots of secondary criticism of other works and theoretically knowing how everything in a novel should be done doesn't translate in itself to actual talent. This is a particular problem since I like to put a lot of focus on things like body language and subtext, but it takes a huge amount of skill to properly pull them off without it being jarring and obvious.

edited 17th Apr '13 9:07:00 PM by everyfloatingcat

Ho, talk save us!
 44 drunkscriblerian, Mon, 22nd Apr '13 1:24:56 AM from Castle Geekhaven Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
I tend to cut to the chase and skip the parts I myself would find boring.

Unless you are doing this so much that your story becomes hard to follow, this is most definitely not a weakness. From what I have seen, it is far more common for budding writers to drag on and on rather than get to the point too quickly. Plenty of famous and/or great authors did a great deal with not much; Hemingway comes to mind.

And if you do indulge in over-brevity, you can always go back and add stuff later...situations like that are why a good beta-reader is worth their weight in gold. They can tell you what doesn't make sense, you can go back and explain further.


Anyhow, as far as I go...

I either abuse punctuation to make sentences longer than they should be or write horribly "choppy" prose - this is according to my editor. Probably B is an attempt to over-compensate for A. I've started to learn how to employ both techniques consciously as a style when appropriate, but I'm not there yet.

I used to be bad at finishing things, but I seem to have licked that problem. For those who have it, the solution is to be comfortable with bad prose. Don't think "that sucks" and delete it; think "I'll fix that shit later" and continue writing. No really, it is that simple. Get a keyboard that is missing its DEL key if that is what it takes, but on your first draft, go forward only.

edited 22nd Apr '13 1:25:48 AM by drunkscriblerian

If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
 45 montmorencey, Mon, 22nd Apr '13 1:28:23 AM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
So...yeah.
[up] Yep, that is one piece of advice I should take to heart. I recently spent an hour fiddling with one single sentence.
Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
 46 drunkscriblerian, Mon, 22nd Apr '13 1:33:00 AM from Castle Geekhaven Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
[up]I used to do stuff like that. Here's another piece of advice; read a favorite book you have -slowly- and scan for sentences that really "wow" you. If you are anything like most people, you'll find a good many constructions that are blandly utilitarian at best...hell, you'll probably find a lot of places where you can think of better ways to say what the author was trying to.

nine tenths of writing is there to convey information, nothing more. The tenth part we read for (and really, really love) requires the other nine to be effective. To wit, a good book contains a lot of bad writing. The difference between being an author and a writer is realizing that fact.

edited 22nd Apr '13 1:36:53 AM by drunkscriblerian

If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
 47 montmorencey, Mon, 22nd Apr '13 1:46:18 AM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
So...yeah.
[up] I've tried that approach, however, I find that it tends to knock me off my own style. When I write for, say, fifty pages, the first part will sound unnaturally stilted and completely different from the later parts, because I tend to imitate the other author's prose.

I prefer not to read anything at all during intensive writing periods to prevent that from happening. I think I just need to force myself to write on. Sometimes I even go back to some part of my story that I was very dissatisfied with when I wrote it and realise that it's really pretty darn good, while other times I see a turn of phrase I worked on for a long time and realise that it's terrible.

So basically, just write on and gain some distance before editing.
Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
 48 drunkscriblerian, Mon, 22nd Apr '13 1:51:03 AM from Castle Geekhaven Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
Oh, the reading thing was an exercise to do when you aren't trying to write. I know full well the problem of reading while writing...your prose starts to mutate.

So basically, just write on and gain some distance before editing.

Just write on. Finish the piece in question before you do anything resembling editing. If you write a sentence or a paragraph, look at it and think "wow that's totally terrible" just push forward with the mantra "I'll fix it later". Finish it before you mess with it...if you stop to edit, you're fucked.

edited 22nd Apr '13 1:52:28 AM by drunkscriblerian

If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
 49 Jabrosky, Mon, 22nd Apr '13 6:50:12 AM from San Diego, CA
Madman
[up]I'm going to have to thank you for the advice on finishing before editing. I have a terrible problem with not finishing my writing projects too.
 50 Kyle Jacobs, Tue, 23rd Apr '13 8:00:44 PM from Connecticut/D.C.
Nice Guy
I suck at writing action. Everything is either too fast or too slow, too emotional or too mechanical (usually too mechanical). This is problematic, since the type of stuff I like to write is very action.

Scripting action, on the other hand, I can do.
Read Remus! Has nothing to do with wolves.
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