Tuesday, March 6, 2012

doors and windows

It’s important to figure out your strengths as a writer.

It’s important to figure out what you do well in writing and what you don’t do well. You’re not going to do everything well. No one does. If you can discover some of your strengths and weaknesses, you can emphasize the former and minimize the later.

So how do you do that? By writing. By paying attention to what the people who read your writing say. Not everything, of course, and not from everyone. Some people just won’t “get” your writing. Some people will focus in on certain aspects of your writing and not be able to help you with others. But if you keep hearing, again and again, from critique group members or other readers that they need more description of physical details in a scene you might start looking and focusing on that weakness of your writing in revision. You might look for places to add details and adding those details might actually help you in other ways, help you focus a scene etc… Sometimes working out one problem will have a larger effect on a manuscript that just the one problem because you’ll see the work itself in a new way.

I know one of my problems is not enough physical details in scenes. In revision I always look for places--I think of them as doors and windows--where I can add something that will bring a scene into focus.

Or so I think today

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