I feel like writers–or artists in general–spend a lot of time improving their craft, convincing other people to believe in their craft, and then spend even more time mired in doubt and frustration. I think this is where “artistic temperament” comes from.
For me, at least, sometimes my writing matches up with what I want it to be and what it feels like or sounds like in my head–and those are the best moments. But most of the time, it doesn’t quite measure up. Other times, it outright sucks.
So sometimes I have to remind myself about what I actually do well in my writing. Because if writing was all doom and gloom and hard graft and “ugh, this sucks” (the way I sometimes, admittedly, make it out to be, when I talk about it at all), then why do I keep doing it?
Other than being a masochist, that is.
So here are the things I think I do well in my writing:
I’ve been told that my dialogue is good. Fiction dialogue is not like real life speak. There are less “um”s and “ah”s, for one thing, and dialogue is generally there to prove a point, not be as inane as it is in real life. If anything, I enjoy writing dialogue because I’m good at it, that I end up writing too much of the story in dialogue.
I think I come up with interesting characters. I don’t know if I write them well all the time, but I think they’re interesting, at least. Also, I’m better at listening to them. Listening is learning, so I try to learn about them and let them lead me to different directions.
Okay, this is more about editing than writing, but…I have no problem cutting things. Huge chunks. Chapters. All that exposition I struggled over. You suck. ‘Bye ‘bye.
4) This is for blog entries
Varying topics? When I started this blog and finished posting Book the First, I did not then say, “Well, this is just a writing blog.” It was more about…well, me. My influences. And my interests. Hence the jumping around from history to Downton Abbey to my book to the last play I’ve seen.
Edited to add:
5) Dry wit
I have a very dry sense of humor. I like a bit of sarcasm, a good dose of dark humor, irony. I think I’m good at injecting that in small doses in my stuff. Or, as my beta said, “You really like your stiff Englishman jokes, don’t you?”
So, what are a few writing things you think you are good at?