Check Your Answers, Class

optical-page-1-388724-mI was having a good blogging year until some personal life THINGS happened and everything ran off the rails for a bit. So I’m coming back to it slowly, and today, with something I stole shamelessly from Bare Knuckle Writer, who stole it from Terrible Minds. You know what they say in writing; if you’re going to steal, steal from the best.

So this is a little writerly self-evaluation. Take it yourself if you like, post on your blog, and just to be polite, post in the comments on the original post, as well. Deep breath, here we go.

a) What’s your greatest strength / skill in terms of writing/storytelling?
I think my characters come across as believable, and I’m pretty good at dialogue. This is based on comments I’ve had from others as well as my own opinion, which is pretty hard to give on a question like this without sounding like a giant a**.

b) What’s your greatest weakness in writing/storytelling? What gives you the most trouble?
Plot, plot, plot. I have a deeply ingrained aversion to detailed outlines, and sometimes that just makes plotting akin to trying to put an octopus in a bottle.* But you do what you gotta do.

c) How many books or other projects have you actually finished? What did you do with them?
Three novels totally complete; one published, one in submission, one about to be self-pubbed. Under contract for another one. Numerous others in various stages. Short stories, I’ve sold maybe two out of every three I’ve written. I think I’m doing pretty well at finishing and submitting.

d) Best writing advice you’ve ever been given? (i.e. really helped you)
Write to the end, then go back and fix what needs to be fixed. Finishing that first draft is just so unbelievably key to everything else.

e) Worst writing advice you’ve ever been given? (i.e. didn’t help at all, may have hurt)
That there’s really no market for what I write (fantasy and science fiction). That was from a grant officer. He’s already been proven wrong, but it was disheartening at the time.

f) One piece of advice you’d give other writers?
Don’t rush to publish or self-publish. Your work is worth the time and effort it takes to learn your craft and get it right before you let anyone else see it. And don’t take a bad contract just because it’s offered. Your work is also worth finding the right home for it.

*Not that I’ve ever done this. But the writer’s imagination…

Photo credit: ros

Review: Orison
Review: Redshirts
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