Friday, September 3, 2010

What Are Your Strengths As a Writer? And An Announcement. :) I HAVE A TITLE, PEOPLE!

First, let's get to the good stuff. Drum roll please. :)  :)

The winner of the title contest is: Candy Ganger, Silent Stables: The Disappearance of Fancy and Rundee. You have my email, lady. So shoot me one with your mailing address. Congrats. She wins a $30.00 Barnes and Noble gift card and a sweet little basket of goodies from Village Coffee. 

The second place winner was right on Candy's heels (only missed it by 6 votes. And believe me, I counted ten times.) so I will send Doctor Lydia Kang, Gone in a Gallop,  a $15.00 Barnes and Noble gift card. Thanks and congrats Lydia. Email me with your contact info.

Check out these blogs. These ladies are amazing.

Thanks everyone for all the wonderful title ideas. Dang, you people are GOOOOD!

What are your writerly strengths? Weaknesses? I'll go first. My strengths? Voice. Dialogue. Weaknesses? Voice. Dialogue. Yep. You read that right.

I love to write. I love to write for kids. And I have been told I have great voice. And not so great voice. I have been told I'm a whiz with dialogue. And I've been told I write too much dialogue. My strengths and weaknesses are the same. So I must find the right balance. 

The problem with my dialogue can be summed up like this. Sometimes I go to the extreme. Trying to hard. And I get so into writing dialogue that five pages later I go, "Oops." I have really been trying to use lots more description and not so much dialogue. But I have to be careful, lest I write an entire book with dialogue. :)

I must remind myself of these things every once in a while: 
Always be careful not to use phony dialogue just to get where you are going. You know, to advance the plot. I would never say to a friend, "Where are we going?" That is just for the readers benefit and the reader doesn't like it. :) Or "what's up with that?" *groan*
Never sound like another writer. I have my own voice. And it's very nice. :) 

Suffixes. Ness words. The reader doesn't like them. They make the reader trip. He/she has to come back and reread. And we can do without them. 

Smart quotes. Use them. The agent will have to change over to smart quotes, anyway. 

Commas, those little buggers. I sometimes don't like to put them where they go, because I don't like the pause they give. Put them. Punctuation is very important. Learn the rules. :) (I'm still learning.)

I have a little problem with pacing that I am correcting. *CONFETTI*  It can be too smooth. Too just so. I need to remember to shake it up. Or it can be too uneven. YIKES. Speak the scene out loud. You'll know, because you'll hear it. Very important.

I'm just glad that I can admit my faults. Shhhh, don't tell hubby.

Two great books? Page After Page and Chapter After Chapter, both by Heather Sellers.

Do you know what your strengths as a writer are? Your weaknesses? Care to show? And show how you fixed it. Someone else might need to know. :) I love you all. :)


  1. Strenghts? Well, I guess I not half bad at creating an image. Weaknesses? Spelling, grammar and punctuation and digging deep.

  2. OMG I'm in such a rush today with the move and the hubs is literally saying "get off the computer!!!" BUT THANK YOU! This made my crazy day SO much better!!!!!

  3. Hey, Robyn, Great question!
    I think my strengths are dialogue and my humour.
    Still struggling with the narrative arc.
    You've got me thinking about what I need to work on.

  4. I think my strengths are dialogue and description, creating the space in which the story takes place.

    My weaknesses? Those "ly" words, she said breathlessly. And maybe using too many commas. I also like pauses...and !s

  5. Dialogue! Snappy, snarky, down to Earth . . . dialogue. I love the banter between characters. I wonder if a book solely containing dialogue would sell. Hmmm . . .


  6. My strengths would be plotting and pacing. My weakness? Characters and description.

    Yes, I know, I run the Bookshelf Muse, which is all about description. But that's why I do it--description is a struggle for me, so I figure maybe others struggle with it too. We may as well learn together, right?

  7. Nice title, Robyn!! Sounds like a mystery.

  8. Congrats to Candy and Lydia--great titles! You're so clever, Robyn, to come up with this contest to name your book.
    You're lucky you write good dialogue, because today's kids really like a big helping of it in their books. But, you're right, that the reader also needs to be anchored in the scene by some setting.
    At the moment, I don't know what my strengths are. Adrift on a sea of doubt, I am. I'll get over it.

  9. Hey Robyn...glad you found your title. Congratulations to the winners.
    Lucky for you that you can write good dialogue, mine needs loads of effort. I am still trying to find out what my strengths are!

  10. Congrats to the winners!

    Strengths? A writer's voice, whatever that means. Anchoring the reader in the scene.

    Weaknesses? Nailing down the "What is the What?"
    WORDINESS and overwriting (yes, I'm going through Rhythm edits. Unbelievable!!!)


  11. I'm terrible at the mechanics of writing. Grammar, punctuation, and so on...

    I love dialogue:)

  12. Congrats to Candy and Lydia! Great titles:) As for weaknesses, I have a bunch. I'm still learning. Always.
    Have a wonderful weekend!


  13. My strengths and weaknesses depend on the day. I swear, sometimes I think I've never written a single thing the way the words come down out of my head, then something kind of "sparkly" happens. That's what makes getting up and writing the next day possible.

  14. Congratulations on getting your title! It was fun participating.

    My writing strength? I've got a good sense of the rhythm of that words make.

    My writing weakness? Details. I hate details. So my writing tends to be a bit airy fairy and I have to work very haard at anchoring it in real hard details, like the grass is green and short.

    Hugs to you and Christopher! xx

  15. I'm a new follower! Thank you for linking up at Link Love Forever. Everyone on the list agrees to follow back, so stop by now and then to check out the new people on the list.

  16. Thank you so much for stopping by! I'm following you via GFC, networked blogs, and twitter!

  17. strength - inspiration weakness - getting it down...
    thanks for popping by acting balanced today - new follower :)

  18. Hi Robyn, I hope things are going well for you and your family. ~Ron

  19. Hi! Thanks for visiting (& following) my blog. I'm returning the follow. This is my first visit to your blog. I look forward to reading more. :)

  20. I have no talent writing fiction at all, so I just happily and voraciously enjoy the fruitts of others' labor!

    Thanks for visiting and following my blog through Link Love!

    Crazy Cat Lady

  21. Congrats to the winners! That's a great title. I think my strength is in my imagery. My weakness is in stretching out an idea to a longer form of poetry. I'll keep working on it. Hugs to you!!


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