Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Writing Weaknesses

by Rebecca Talley

I've attended conferences, taken classes, read books, talked to other writers, and practiced writing. All good things that have helped me improve my writing.  I recently had my manuscript professionally edited by Heather Moore at Precision Editing Group and I learned so much from the experience. She helped me see my weaknesses more clearly and pushed me to improve in ways I hadn't even considered.

It's one thing to read in a book, "Flesh out your scene," but it's quite another to actually have someone show you how to do that with your own scene, how to make it deeper and fuller, how to take it to the next level. Perhaps, some, or most, of you already know that innately, but I don't. I'm still learning how to take a scene and fully develop it.

I've learned that some of my weaknesses are:

Writing too lean--I'm always in such a hurry because I have so many things to do in my life that I tend to write in a hurry, too. I leave out details that would make a scene feel more realistic. I don't include a lot of description and that makes it hard for a reader to feel grounded in the scene.

Leaving out emotions--I write a lot of actions, but I don't include a lot of emotions. I guess I figure if I'm feeling something when I'm writing it, then the reader will feel the same thing. I've learned that's a faulty assumption. I still struggle with how to "show" that emotion without telling it.

Awkward or non-existent transitions--Again, I'm in a hurry so I don't include transitions that would make the entrance into the next scene smoother. I flit from scene to scene and forget to transition between them.

Having this edit has opened my eyes as to how I can improve scenes and make my story fuller. I hope there are some things I do well, but for now, I'm focusng on what I can improve so that I can make my current manuscript the best it can be (isn't that what we all hope to do?). I've included a subject in this manuscript that's very close to my heart and I want to do it justice. I want to make an impact and possibly influence people who read it to think a little differently. Now that I've had this edit, maybe I'll be able to come closer to doing that.

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Rebecca Irvine said...

What a great investment, not only in yourself, but in this manuscript. Heather Moore is such a great writer so I am sure her ideas and thoughts are ones you can trust.

Jillayne Clements said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing.

Noble M Standing said...

I so could have written this post! We share the same problems. :)

Isn't having an editor point something out an awesome thing? I have learned SO much from working on editing with a good friend of mine.

I am intrigued about your book hope to see it soon in print. Thanks for the post.

Cindy (C.L.) Beck said...

Great info. Thanks for sharing it! It seems like most of us are in a hurry, and so your thoughts are a great help.

Christine Thackeray said...

Rebecca, you are so prolific. Another completed manuscript? Wow. I know I needed that info. Cool that you actually got Heather to help you. She is great and so are you.