f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Strength and Weakness Week – Day 1 – Starting Out and Staying General

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Monday, December 13, 2004

Strength and Weakness Week – Day 1 – Starting Out and Staying General

So we’re going to spend a few days looking at our strengths and weaknesses as authors. Feel free to post your answers, however unless you’re published there’s not too much way for us to tell you whether you’re right or wrong.

Also, this is only strengths and weaknesses in your OWN writing. We’re not comparing you to Richard Russo or Jan Karon, Michael Chabon or Jerry Jenkins. They have their own relative strengths and weaknesses they must deal with. This is all about you.

Also, some of these may be contradictory or inapplicable to your writing. Jane Austen, for instance, could’ve sucked at action scenes but we’d never know it because she didn’t write any in her novels.

1. Conceptualizing – How are you at coming up with ideas for books?

2. Engagement – Are you constantly on the look-out for inspiration…in books, music, the news? Are you open for inspiration?

3. Titling – A lesser-known skill, but an important one. Do you sometimes come up with a great title that just demands a book? Can you come up with a title your publisher loves, sales people love, and your audience loves? (Aside: Does such a title even exist?)

4. Discipline – Are you there, in your chair, every time you should be?

5. Productive – When you’re in the chair…are you putting words down that matter?

6. Creative Rhythm/Flow – Are you good at finding, and staying, in the ideal “zone” in which to write. Or are you all “fits and starts”?

7. Mapping/Outlining – Do you have a decent sense, early on, for where the story is going? Can you think your way through a story to the end without sacrificing creativity?

8. On-the-Fly Creativity – As you work through a story, are you bound by your outline or are you constantly seeking ways for your story to surprise?

9. Strong Starter – Can you write a killer opening sentence or scene that grabs a reader’s attention?

10. Strong Finisher – Can you bring the story home to a rousing or moving or stirring or dramatic or whatever-it-is-your-trying-to-achieve-type conclusion? Does the last sentence resound and stay with your readers after they shut the book?
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Go to Day 2 of Evaluating Your Strengths and Weaknesses