Monday, March 31, 2014

Penmonkey evaluation, courtesy of Chuck Wendig

I follow many, many blogs on writing and other subjects (including pictures of cats - that's 85% of the internet, isn't it?), and Chuck Wendig's blog terribleminds had a really interesting post a while back.  Basically, it's a set of questions to see how you're doing in the realm of writing.  I thought, what better place to answer them than on my blog?  Plus, it saves me from coming up with a new blog post.  Huzzah!

a) What’s your greatest strength / skill in terms of writing/storytelling?
World-building.  I tend to spend a lot of time figuring out what the world looks like, and why things happen the way they do.  I also do a reasonably good job figuring out pacing and timing for my stories.

b) What’s your greatest weakness in writing/storytelling? What gives you the most trouble?
Exposition.  I tend to get into the Department of Backstory when trying to explain some important piece of information to the reader, and just end up with someone telling a story to get it all down on the page.  The intent is always to go back and edit it into something more readable, but that's where I get hung up.

c) How many books or other projects have you actually finished? What did you do with them?
I've finished draft zero of two books, and finished and edited a short story.  The two books are in process of being edited, while I submitted the short story to an anthology.  The editors rejected it, but it was the nicest rejection email I've ever received, so that helps.

d) Best writing advice you’ve ever been given? (i.e. really helped you)
Get your butt into the seat and write.  It's hard to edit and make revisions if there's nothing to revise.

e) Worst writing advice you’ve ever been given? (i.e. didn’t help at all, may have hurt)
Any of the advice that outlines a specific schedule or regimen for writing.  While it may work beautifully for one person to get up two hours early in the morning and write 4000 words before breakfast, that's not something I'm going to be able to reliably.  If I start missing a day, I'm going to feel like a failure, which is just going to keep me from continuing.

f) One piece of advice you’d give other writers?
Beyond "get your butt into the seat and write," I'd say to just keep writing however you can.  If that means rushing to your computer at 3AM because you've finally figured out how to solve a problem, do it.  If it's important to you, if you want it to be a priority, you will find a way.