Young Writers Society

Home » Forums » Resources » Knowledge Base » Writing Tutorials

Strengths and Weaknesses



User avatar
2631 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 5735
Reviews: 2631
Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:41 pm
Rydia says...



Image

A master swordsman does not choose to fight with a bow, unless he is a fool.


Strengths and Weaknesses

This week I want to know all of your strengths and weaknesses and you’re going to tell them to me because my strength is in persuasive writing. Not convinced? Well why don’t you think about it while you read the rest of this article.

A novel can be divided into many components, starting with the larger divisions of plot; description and characters and working all the way down to sub divisions such as continuity or narrative tone. Some of these you may be good at and some of them not so good, but it’s important to establish your strengths and weaknesses.

If you know what your strengths are, you can bring those into the foreground of your novel and if you know what your weaknesses are, you can reduce the focus on them and set yourself goals for improvement. Avoiding a weakness altogether isn’t the answer, but there are creative ways to work around them.

Finding Your Strength

Identifying what you’re good at is often a fun and exciting path! Why not experiment by writing a short story which is heavily dependent on dialogue or try creating a poem with a strong focus on rhythm and sound. You can also look at your past writing and evaluate which components of your writing were successful and which were lacking.

If you’re still not sure, then write a five page short story and ask a friend what they liked about it and what they didn’t like. It’s better to ask someone who reads on a regular basis as they will be more familiar with the functions of story, but anyone with a keen eye can be helpful.

Playing to Your Strength

Once you know your strength, if you want to write to the best of your ability, this should be a key focal point of your novel. If your strength is in writing dialogue, then put your characters into situations where they are going to need to talk to one another to solve their issues. If you make communication the reason they are able to get through a difficult obstacle, that will increase the focal point on your dialogue and take the reader’s attention away from areas you may be less skilled in, such as description.

Remember, while everything you write is a learning curve, when you are working on a serious project or preparing a draft for publication, it’s important to play to your strengths.

Minimising Your Weakness

After finding our weaknesses, it is tempting to avoid them altogether and to remove them from our novel entirely, but this is not a viable option. Afterall, what is a novel without characters or without action? What is a novel without a grounding in reality? Every component of a novel is important and many impact on one another to build each layer of a novel.

What you can do instead is reduce the level of involvement a component has. If you find characters difficult, there’s no need to have more than a small, focal group of three or four characters and a miniature well of background players. Again, three or four might be enough for your whole novel.

Another way to reduce your weaknesses is to work on improving them. Set yourself the task of writing a short story where your weakness is the focal point. Keep everything else simple and concentrate all your effort on pinning down what it is about your weakness you find difficult and what you can do to counteract this.

Discussion Corner

Now you’ve had some time to think about it, what do you think your strengths and weaknesses are?

I’m a pretty deft hand at writing dialogue and description, but when it comes to layering plot arcs, I start to stumble.

For more tips like these, why not visit The Editing Cycle?
Writing Gooder

~Previously KittyKatSparklesExplosion15~

The light shines brightest in the darkest places.
  





User avatar
84 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 3836
Reviews: 84
Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:43 am
View Likes
deleted3 says...



Hi Rydia!

Good advice.

My strength I'm not sure about, but I will use my own feelings to figure this one out. I have the most fun when I am building tension in scenes, adding more and more complications for my poor unsuspecting characters, and then making them triumph over all the odds (with a tear of pride).

My weakness is story setting - especially if the setting is a place that exists in real life. I usually keep it vague and, as you said, tend to focus on my strength, and for the most part, my readers don't notice. I am just worried that someone who lives in the area I'm describing may read my story and frown saying "that's not how it is at all..." I guess the only way to improve on this is to get better at research, both from reference books and from first hand field experience. Any other suggestions would be welcome haha!
Love to Live, Live to Love <--- My Motto
http://ekarimbvundula.blogspot.com <--- My Blog
Follow me on:
https://twitter.com/EtherealEmber <--- My Twitter
  





User avatar
2631 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 5735
Reviews: 2631
Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:29 pm
Rydia says...



Field experience is definitely a good idea! You can also look for books at the library though if it's quite a large/ well cataloged place and roaming around on google maps may give you the general lay of the land.

The great thing about settings is that once you've established the basics (ie. the name of the place and where scenes are in relation to each other) you can create your own small touches. For example, you don't have to base your character's house on a real house there - instead you can draw inspiration from the houses near you and describe something you know.

A lot of landmarks like parks and rivers are very similar across the country/ even the world so going to a park near you can help you describe the park in your novel, even if it's based on one hundreds of miles away.
Writing Gooder

~Previously KittyKatSparklesExplosion15~

The light shines brightest in the darkest places.
  





User avatar



Gender: Female
Points: 125
Reviews: 1
Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:15 pm
DauntlessDagger says...



Strengths: Characters (When their born, not made), dialogue (So I've been told) Emotion (I'm good at putting myself in over peoples shoes, when I know them well.

Weakness: Grammer, format, description. I'm terrible at the actual writing part of it, the form word on the paper. I have the story in my head but getting it down is really had. Also, I can't force ideas or characters, they have to come to me.
Dauntless Dagger
  








"If fortis was here, we could have a teal party"
— Pompadour