21 July 2008

Getting Honest With Yourself

Have been pondering this post lately...and figured now is as good a time as any to put it together.

As a fiction writer, honesty is something that has to be used carefully. Honesty is good, but when it gets in the way, the story has to take precedence. The good guy doesn't win, the leading lady doesn't pick the guy she needs to in the end, and all the best laid plans in the world end up failing miserably. That's honest reality (most of the time).

But to be honest, that has nothing at all to do with this post...

As a writer, I have to be honest with myself on my shortcomings as said writer. If I don't, I'll never succeed as a writer because without improving my skills, those offers for representation and/or publication will never come.

So, what is my biggest issue in my writing?

I'd have to say that's using an appropriate level of description. I suffer this while writing and reading both. When I read a book, I tend to skip over the parts I don't feel add anything. That in itself would be okay (one doesn't need to be overly descriptive or it's going to be just as bad), but in my case, I tend to omit A LOT of detail in my writing. I see things in my head, but translating them onto the written page often baffles me. Why should it matter (so I ask myself) what types of furniture are in the room? You can relay character traits through this information (as an example), but in my head, I see it as useless excess and skip over it.

So, they say the first step in solving a problem is to admit you have it...so hopefully this will lead to my full and total recovery.

And I recommend writers everywhere take up this challenge: What is your biggest issue in your writing? Be honest with yourself, and see if it helps you improve.


  1. I go the opposite direction. In my writing AND in the books I read, I like details. My brain processes well-developed details and helps what I read become reality. When I write, the same process takes me into the story and makes it real. Some people don't like my writing style because of the details, so maybe that's my weakness.

  2. There is a fine line between too many and too little. Unfortunately, that line also constantly moves, because reading is all very subjective.


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