Discussion: Do You Know Your Writing Weaknesses?

Photo credit: jvleis on Flickr
When working on Beyond the Red back in 2013 and 2014, if you'd ask me what my number one writer weakness was, I'd have answered without hesitation: world building.

"This book needs more world building" was a critique I got for my second draft, third draft, fourth, fifth—god knows how many drafts but right up until the end, more world building I became all too familiar with. And it's a good thing, too, because, well—those drafts absolutely needed more. 

I think, however, going through that process taught me a ton about world building, because more world building has now been tattooed to my soul, and I've become much more aware of my tendency to go lighter on world building and description in earlier drafts, and so it's something I think about much more actively while first drafting and doing initial revisions. I can almost pre-empt some of the questions my CPs and agent will have and fill in many of those gaps before I send it out.

So I wouldn't say world building is still a weakness for me, not anymore, and that's a pretty cool thing. Because it's a great reminder you can (and should!) always grow as a writer. 

Of course, now I have new weaknesses to look out for. Every time I eliminate one crutch word, I find another (or rather, my CPs find another), and I've been challenging myself to be more aware of avoiding passive or fully reactionary characters earlier in the plotting process, so I can avoid that issue while I'm ahead. But I think the most important thing is to be aware of your weaknesses—or at least be on the look out for them—because that's the only way you can strengthen those problem areas both in the manuscripts you're working on and in yourself, as a writer. 

What are your writing weaknesses?

Twitter-sized bite:
What are your writing weaknesses? Join the discussion on @Ava_Jae's blog. (Click to tweet)

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