This week, Mishka Jenkins is challenging us to reveal our writing strengths – and our weaknesses! If you’ve joined me from Collette Cameron, welcome!
I like to think my greatest strength is my dialogue. Having written for radio and TV for a long, long, time, I’m used to “writing for the ear”. By this I mean, writing so that when the words are read aloud it has the right rhythm and understandibility (how’s that for a made up word?). Dialogue needs to be easy to read, but also reflect that it is spoken word, not narrative.
I also think I’m pretty good at description. I don’t just focus on what people and places look like – I think about how the sound and smell and feel. I think our sense of smell gets left behind a lot in writing, when it is one of the strongest ways to evoke memory and emotion, so I try to use it often.
That being said, my liking for description leads to one of the challenges I have while writing – when to stop! Description is easy. Writing down what I experience in my head is like taking dictation. But there comes a point when that bogs down the pace of the story. Readers like to be able to experience what the characters are experiencing – but most importantly, they want to feel what the characters are feeling. And feelings are hard! So when I have a choice over writing the hard stuff or the easy stuff, I sometimes fall into the trap.
I also berate myself on my plotting ability. I’m always questioning my characters choices, wondering whether they really would have done this or said that. I like to be able to surprise a reader, too, and I’m never sure whether I’ve given even information to tease, or too little so they are confused. It can be a fine line!
One thing I can say – every word I write makes me better. Even exercises like these are good, because they make me think about my writing. So, back to building on my strengths and strengthening my weaknesses!
And while I’m doing that, head on over to Veronica Forand for the next stop in the blog hop.
You'll want to check out Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley's romance, "Flirting on Ice", a sweet, sexy novella set in the world of professional hockey.