Rating The Writer: My Strengths

FMWriters is traveling the web via the Merry Go Round Blog Tour. Site members have grouped together to write monthly on themed topics and turn the blog tour concept on its head: we’re not the ones touring: you are, as you read one writer’s perspective after another. This is my contribution to the Merry Go Round Tour. Enjoy your ride. ~ Dawn

So now you want to rate myself? That really is what this topic means. One a scale of 1 to 10, where am I a 10? Or at the very least, an 8? This is all a matter of perception of course, so if you’ve read my writing, feel free to comment on how wrong I am.

10: Ideas. I always seem to have these awesome world or conflict or character ideas. Every story I finish is fun to write (sure, some are tough trying to make my ideas actually, you know, work.) or rewarding in some way. Most of my stories begin as an idea story and develop into something more.

9: Dialogue/Description: let’s face it, these guys are best buds. If you’re lacking one, the other has to compensate big time.  Dialogue. I’d like to think my dialogue is clever and snappy. Some of my older stories are a bit lacking; the dialogue really was just a way to convey information (unartistically, I might add). I’ve gotten better at it, and I think my current stories has the dialogue a bit more natural but still advancing the story. Description. I try to treat my setting as a character to the point of why is it in the story in this manner and what effect does it have on the story. As such, I try to incorporate it into the narrative from the get-go. Some stories have had better results than others. Fortunately, there’s always the next revision to fix what I’ve missed.

8: Conflict. I always have conflict and often try to place it on two of  a possible three levels: a) how it affect the character physically, b) how it affects the character mentally (internal conflict), and c) how it affects the world. Sometimes I do overcomplicate it with all three, and have to tame it back down to two. (Three is okay in a novel, just overwhelms a short story).

7. Characters. My characters usually have rich, complicated backgrounds filled with childhood trauma or angst of another nature.  I’m still playing with how much to show and sometimes how to show it.

6. Worldbuilding. I like to think my fantasy and science fiction is unique in its own way, whether it’s the magic system or a religion I created. I’ve had a couple of early flops, and my editorial feedback has been “generic fantasy”. I’ve been working on that!

5. Voice. I have to be honest, voice is something that either pops in my head full blown (both my published and accepted stories came into being this way), or I need to spend time growing the character and learning their voice. Some of them, I never quite hear myself. Those are the stories that need more work, but alas, I’m trying to work on these in my next stories.

4. Humor. I suck at humor. One of my better stories has a humorous edge to it, but it was a complete and utter accident. I didn’t do it, my character did. I keep asking him for help with my other stories, but he’s off somewhere having a drink.

3. Twist Endings.  These are extremely difficult. Endings are tough in general, but getting one that really snaps into place takes a lot of work. I’ve gotten the perfect ending a few times, and some simply feel right, but I need to keep working on these.

2. Horror Stories. Seriously. I am so afraid of scaring myself, I have to be careful what I write. I will never ever in a million years write horror. Well, maybe dark fantasy but not straight hell-demon fiction. No way, mama.

1. Sex scenes. Fade to black, FTW. Sex is one of those things that I know my characters do, need them to do for their romance subplots to work out properly, but do I need to sweat out those details word for word? The way I see it, you’ve got just as active an imagination as I do. You want a sex scene? Then you take that fade to black and knock their socks off. Or yours. Just don’t tell me about it.

This doesn’t include every element of writing, of course, but enough to know I’m keen on what I need to work on. I hope I’m on the right track.

Happy Reading & Writing!


Today’s post was inspired by Forward Motion’s Merry-Go-Round topic, What I Do Best (My Writing Strengths)”.  If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and read about their ideas, then check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. Bonnie is up next at Cowgirl in New England.


3 responses to “Rating The Writer: My Strengths

  1. Love the way you labeled all your strengths and weaknesses. I’m pretty sure that for me, dialogue and description aren’t on a par (talking heads in white rooms!), but you do a much better balancing act than I do.

    Very nice appraisal.

  2. That’s a great idea rating your strengths. I find it funny that if I were to do this, my list would almost be backward from yours!

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