There’s no ugly. At least, I hope not. Though it’s a good topic for this week…Writing, 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses. Because, as with all professions, each author has aspects they excel at and some they don’t—which is why we all need amazing editors. I have some such editors (wink wink ladies) who keep me real. Gently remind me when I’ve fallen off the rails. Though recognizing your own faults is much harder than you realize. It’s not that hard to see it in someone else’s writing, but to find it in your own… I like to believe it’s because you have the whole story in your head. You don’t see holes or repetitive words until later. Usually until someone points them out, lol. See the good editor note above.
But, I’ll try to be honest here…
POV… I can honestly say I’ve got this. I rarely head hop in a story, or skew or whatever folks call it. I try to lean toward changing POVs each chapter. Sometimes it requires a shift mid-chapter, especially with menages. It’s not always easy to get in that equal time if there are four people vying for power. But… I do try exceedingly hard not to slip. And I stay with the main characters only. For the love of god, readers don’t need to know what the gardner is thinking, or the cashier. Or even the boss if he/she isn’t a main player. Just the facts, folks and just the main characters, whether it be one (not really my style but if you write first person, this is popular) two or more, as long as they are all the ones intimately invested in the outcome. And no, supporting characters don’t count. Give them their own book if you want to get inside their head.
Letting the sex develop organically…I know, you’re probably thinking… what the fuck? But, as I am an erotic romance writer, my books have sex. It’s part of the definition of the genre. As I’ve said before… there needs to be sex in my sex book. However, it also needs to happen when it should, not because you reached the magical third chapter. Hell, it can crop up in chapter one if it’s appropriate, or not until halfway through, which tends to be more realistic if the characters don’t know each other prior to meeting. Hell, even if they do there might be a mountain of baggage to climb before they jump back in the sack. Either way, I think I’m okay at letting the sex happen when and how it should and not having it feel forced. Of course, this often means my characters hump like bunnies once they finally get into the bed, or against the wall, or in the shower, or…. you get what I mean.
Suspense/action… Now, this is just my opinion. I’m sure some will disagree. You can’t please everyone, but… I love writing suspense. Love dropping hints to where it’s going but hopefully not giving it all away. Love writing epic action scenes. Fights. Chases. I’d like to think I’m doing them all justice. So, I’ll go with this. Fingers crossed. Because I’m hoping this is the reaction…
Writing short…Yes, I view this as a weakness in the sense I have a hard time thinking small. Writing shorter piece effectively requires a focused viewpoint. Condensing the story down to a single event, quite often. And it requires skill to do it well. I have come to the conclusion, focusing small just isn’t my forte. I’ve tried… lord have I tried. What a lot of readers might not know is that a lot of call for submissions and other projects have an upper limit for word count. Quite often 20, 30 or maybe 40K is the most you can write, and well, for me, 40K is a mere minimum. When I try to shorten things, they always feel incomplete and rushed to me. I think of stories on an epic scale. Maybe it was growing up with all the epic movies of the time… Star Wars, Indiana Jones… or that even songs made a move from the standard 3 mins to over 5. I don’t know, but as you can tell just by this post, writing short—definitely a weakness.
Favourite words…Okay, what I mean is I tend to have a word or ten in any given manuscript that my lovely editor points out is the ‘word of the manuscript’. Hence, everyone growls, or leans or palms something. Not a hard thing to correct, but the point is…no matter how hard I try NOT to have this happen, it does. Every time. Not the same word, I’ll grant you that, but… something. Every. Damn. Time.
Interrupting the action with dialogue…Okay, so above I said suspense and action was a strength… as long as I don’t do this. Which, my editor is kind enough to remind me of. It’s nothing horrible, but… you know, life and death and my lovers decide now is the time to have a quick chat. Or in one book, my heroine decided to go for a run when she really shouldn’t. Now, granted, I’d probably do this to stay sane in real life, but… yeah. Knowing when not to interrupt the action sometimes requires another set of eyes for me. Though I’m getting better. I hear my editor’s voice in my head saying… now, Kris….would they really stop to do this? Yeah, it’s as frightening as it sounds (wink wink).
Okay, for better or worse that’s my post. Now, I’ll admit that spelling isn’t my forte all the tie either. But thankfully, there’s spellcheck. And I sometimes mix up words… though that tends to be isolated to each manuscript, kind of like the fave word thing. I just use the wrong one the whole freaking time. But…such is life. Please check out the other ladies and see what they think are their strengths and weaknesses.