Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Making the Most of What You've Got

See how you can use your writing
strengths to overcome your writing

I have always been able to tell a great story, but I wasn't always able to connect the dots on paper. So I practiced until the sentences flowed like water, and the connective tissue was hard to see. This also took time. I read other writers. I wrote. I tried to find my voice by writing what was from my heart more than what I found lurking inside my brain. And in time, through practice, my writing voice came.

Making the most of what you've got is using your gifts and talents in particular avenues of writing to help you along with those areas in which you lack. And you have to have some things you do well, or you wouldn't be a writer in the first place.
Make a list of your writing strengths

As writers we're constantly coming across stuff we wish we could do better. For me, some of the stuff I'm still working on is setting.

Setting for me is kind of like poetry. It's a place you go, beyond great dialogue and a terrific plot, to round out your story and make it believable. The last thing a writer wants is for the characters to be standing in some sort of void.

And yet, setting is where I struggle. After all of the writing and editing, I am always going back to add more setting to a scene, and even then, my books are never high in setting; I focus more on what I do best.

As a good writer should.

For example, maybe you're better at setting, and lack in dialogue.
Or maybe you can come up with a terrific plot, but have a hard time connecting chapters or paragraphs.

Whatever your dilemma, be assured that your writing strengths were given to you for a reason. To help you to write. But that's not all. They were given to help you to
overcome your writing weaknesses.

A case in point.

If I'd stopped in the beginning because my stories never sounded as good on paper as they sounded when spoken aloud, I'd never be where I am today. I used what I had: the telling of a great story and all of the imagination that came with it, and connected the gift with the weakness: writing it down on paper.

And I continue to grow my weaknesses through the use of my strengths as I'm sure you do, whether you know you are doing it--or not.

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