Good writers don’t think they’re perfect, they find their flaws and try to fix them.
My biggest flaw right now is description. My favorite part of writing is writing dialogue, so it’s what I tend to focus on. Oftentimes, this means description gets lost along the way. I especially struggle with physical description, bringing my characters into my reader’s vision.
I think I finally understand why so many writers use pictures of celebrities as their “muse” for their characters. This never worked for me because the character I envisioned was their OWN person, they didn’t look like someone that already was. But, I think I am going to if not try to do this myself, do some “descriptor” exercises where I take some of those pictures and try to describe them.
Hopefully with each manuscript I write I can focus on a flaw or two and work on improving so that the next manuscript is better. I think I have been doing that but on a subconscious level. I want to work into more of a conscious thing I’m working on.
2 thoughts on “Knowing Your Limits”
Great idea, Nicole. I like to focus on my flaws in writing as well. You must be a fellow perfectionist ;). I think that’s the kind of drive and attitude that leads to publication (hopefully). I know that being aware of our flaws doesn’t necessarily mean we lack confidence, but it does show we can be more critical of ourselves…and apparently that can be a good thing. Did you ever read Nathan Bransford’s blog post (March 22, 2010) on the Dunning-Kruger Effect? Really interesting stuff…and it made me feel better about being self-critical :).
I had not read that article, but I will definitely have to check it out. It’s funny, I am a perfectionist in NOTHING except my writing. As evidenced by my disaster of a house!