Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Paperback Writer

A billion years ago, Annika tagged me with the "List 5 of your writing strengths" meme.

Despite having had all this time to think about it, I haven't had much success in coming up with that many.

When Stephanie (whom I consider a great writer) provided her answers to this meme, she called the meme, "very difficult". Annika herself referred to it as "horrible, awful, [and] bad". Even the person who tagged Annika points out that coming up with "5 reasons I suck" would be easier. Which raises a really good question about this meme. Why is it that writers have a hard time singing their own praises? I mean, yeah, everyone is their own worst critic, so seeing one's [writing] flaws is easier, but if the meme had asked, "Name 5 good qualities you have", while that might have proven difficult as well, I bet that each of us would have been able to do it.

As it stands, I don't know if I know of five 'strengths' I have as a writer. Let alone more than five. (The meme asks for you to name five of your strengths, which means that, hypothetically, you should have more than 5 to choose from.) In a perfect world (ha!), I would answer this meme and have to stop myself from going on and on. Right?

Eh. Anyway. I did come up with some ideas (although, really, the coming up with flaws is a LOT easier. Also, I'm not sure that all of these are truly 'strengths', as the cynicism seemed to seep into everything I could come up with...) so let's get it started, and if I get 5, then, wahoo! If not, well, no big loss there either, I suppose.

1) Original Ideas
I can honestly say that coming up with story ideas is something that I excel at. {Whether the stories are any good, or ever get written, or have characters you care about, or dialogue that doesn't make you cringe is beside the point.} I'm constantly thinking of scenes or concepts or 'pitches'. And it may be a stretch, but I'd like to think that they are least somewhat unique. It's hard for me to accurately judge that assessment, though, because in my mind, all (most?) of my ideas are derivative and predictable. However, the reason I think that is because I know where the story is going to go [um. Except when I don't]. I mean, since the story is in my head, when I put it on paper, I generally think, "Oh, man, I've heard this before!"

But. The point is that generating ideas is one of my strengths, and I'm sticking with that.

2) Ha Ha!
When I want to be, I can be really funny.
Sure, comedy is subjective, and I may only be amusing myself [to death], but, being able to laugh is a great ability to have, so it's going on the list.

3) Crappy vocabulary
Wait! Hear me out. This may sound like a weakness, not a strength, and it probably is, but since the negatives are so much easier to think of, I figure a good way of compiling the list is to start looking at them as positives instead.
So, yeah. The fact that I have a 6th grade vocabulary means that a) I can write for USA Today and 2) that none of my writing is going to have any huge words that you don't recognize. Toss out that dictionary! My writing ain't gonna increase your word knowledge none!

4) Compelling!
I believe that my writing is (or can be) very compelling. Page turner type of stuff. It draws you in and keeps you wanting to read until the very end. I'm like a master of suspense. Or, maybe not a 'master', but I'm pretty adept at it.

I must be, if you've read this far. ;)

1 comment:

Amy said...

I would also like to suggest that, in addition to your stories being unique, they don't tend to disappoint. You sort of think, "Well this is pretty interesting. I hope it's going somewhere!" And then it does.

I mean, except when you don't finish them.