Friday, 9 November 2007

LATE coffee with Cally

*rushes in, wiping sweat from brow* Sorry, sorry, sorry. I meant to write a post just after midnight to post for coffee morning but I totally forget and then I went to bed and then I went to work and then..I just forgot! Sorry to Zinnia too who has been waiting patiently for me to post so she could share her news. It's in the post below - go and have a look now!

Anyway, back to today...it's just going to be a quick one I'm afraid (as I should really be working) and these questions are based on a survey Liz Fenwick filled out ages ago that go me thinking. So,

1. What do you well (in your writing)?
2. What do you struggle with (in your writing)?

If question one makes you feel uncomfortable you can change it to "what do you do quite well?" if it makes you feel better.

I'll go first. I do dialogue quite well and I struggle with description.

How about you?

25 comments:

Juliette M said...

I do characters well (come up with ideas, flesh out the character background etc) but I struggle with plot. It does what it wants and escapes from what it should be doing!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Me too, Cally, exactly that - I'm good at dialogue but description really makes me sweat. (Glad you're OK BTW - I was worrying!)

Kate.Kingsley said...

Hi,

(totally appreciate the work / rush thing, Cally ~ I'm in the same situation, and much of my posting is done surreptitiously, but shhhh, don't tell anyone! ;-))

What do i do well? I think Im pretty good on the psychological side of things ~ i create strong characters, and their motivation and behaviour is generally convincing.

But (and I've just realised how incongrous this is) plotting is my downfall. Character may indeed be destiny, but I can never get the elements of a plot to flow together realistically, it always seems a bit "A leads to B and then C follows and after a bit of contrivance we get to Z".

In fact on that note I think I'll have a plotting brainstorm session tonight (ah, I know how to rock it on a friday night!)

Wishing happy weekends all round,

Kate K

Cathy said...

I think I am reasonably good at creating characters...mainly because many of my characters are loosely based on people I have known in real life.

Description is also my weakness...I usually have to make a conscious effort to add more in whilst editing!

liz fenwick said...

Hi All. Just back from a day in the mountains and I feel refreshed :-)

I do dialogue well and struggle with plotting!!!!

Have a great weekend.

ChrisH said...

Oh I'm good at the first draft and totally rubbish at the rewrite!!! I just enjoy the thrill of first love and don't enjoy the nuts and bolts stuff... but I'll get there!

Kate said...

Hmm.. I'm not sure what I do well. I think I'm ok at dialogue, and description. I'm not short on ideas, but when it comes to actually writing I always find myself falling into the habit of telling - not showing! I get lazy and find it hard to come up with different ways of writing 'he said' and stuff like that. And joining sentences. And ... ummm... I dunno. I think my main problem is ironing out my thoughts into one long stream of sentences.. I'm too impatient! I think. Maybe. Actually I think my main problem is deciding things and sticking with my decisions. Yeah. I think thats right.

Caroline said...

Oh gosh! I like/dislike my characters and I struggle with staying focused. I am very anal and drive myself insane with my attention to detail.
I could go on ...
x

KayJay said...

Yes, I think I do dialogue well and struggle with description - is this a trend or what?

I especially find writing action sequences difficult; combining description and pace is very tricky.

NoviceNovelist said...

The thing I do quite well creating characters - similar to Cathy - in that most are based on real people.

Thing I haven't done well whilst writing this novel but am getting better at is moving from one chapter or scene to the next - I either leave gaps you could sail the Queen Mary through or I don't really move on at all - so why have a new chapter????? (Rhetorical ques there for me!)

Lane said...

Hi All and thanks Cally

1. What do you quite well (in your writing)? Put it this way - I find characters, description and dialogue far easier than ........
(2. What do you struggle with (in your writing)?) ......plotting.
Plotlines, tension and pace I have huge difficulty with.

Enjoys your weekends:-)

Helen Shearer said...

There seems to be a pattern developing here. I think I'm good at dialogue and details of character, but plotting is something I don't actually do, and maybe should. My stories tend to veer of in whatever direction I'm moving in that day, and what was supposed to happen rarely does. Then again, there's something to be said for spontaneity. I also have a bit of a hard time with the whole revealing/ concealing thing. I never know when I've said too much, or too little for that matter.

Sarah*G* said...

I do situations and descriptions well but stuggle sometimes to find words that I think adequately describe it. I like to use words that I know what they mean and might use in everyday life. (Plus I use made up words myself and tend to put them in too can get very confusing at times!)

A. Writer said...

I would say I do characters well. It's my favourite part-creating characters, I love doing it.

I would say that I struggle with description and the fact that I tell and don't show. Oops!

Fiona said...

I think if I'd ever had anything published (apart from a little article for Dogs Today), I might be able to answer this but...I don't know. I find it all difficult and self doubt sits on my shoulder all the time.

B.E. Sanderson said...

I not sure what I do well or what I struggle with. Thinking strictly about the first draft, I have a tendency to write straight through as it is in my head, and sometimes I leave out details that are obvious to me (because I can see them in my head) but wouldn't be obvious to a reader. I try to go back and flesh everything out later, once I've had time to get perspective. Aside from that, action scenes tend to flow faster for me than non-action, but if I've got a point to make in the non-action, that comes out fast, too. I guess for me it depends on the story and the mood I'm in.

sheepish said...

Oh dear I'm even later than Cally, sorry.
I'm good at research for my plotlines but don't always know what to do with the order of things.As my first attempt at a novel it's growing organically which is maybe not the best way. It's a learning process which I hope will get easier!!!

Graeme K Talboys said...

Hmm. Don't know if I do anything well. There's always the feeling it could be tweaked one more time. I am good at getting a 'first' draft on paper before going back and working on it.

What I'm bad at is 'channel hopping' on the computer when I should be writing - checking e-mail, checking the half dozen games of Scrabulous I always seem to have on the go, popping in to Club Penguin to see if Rockhopper is back yet, and conversing on half a dozen or more forums. The Internet is a blessing and a bane.

KeVin K. said...

I blog well....

Perhaps because I started out writing for theatre when I'm brainstorming a scene I write dialog only. Nothing more than a letter to identify the speaker, '=', and what they say. (I use = because I always mess up the shift sequence and type ';' when I mean ':'.)
When I actually write I put in where they are and what they are doing. (And often delete clever bits of dialog that are fun but do not serve the story.)

As for plot, I always know where the story is going. I just don't always know how I'm going to get there. If I ever had to write out a detailed roadmap of where the novel is going I'd probably burst a blood vessel.

Flowerpot said...

Same with me - good at dialogue, learning about description.

hesitant scribe said...

Ooh - tough one. And I'm very late too - sorry.

Am good at... oh dear, what am I good at? Erm... research! Yes - very good at research.

And very bad at getting down to the work, and staying there too!

Rowan Coleman said...

Hello there - I must be the latest - its Sunday! Sorry about that, hetic week, supervising under sevens film club, need I say more?

What do I do well at and not so well!?

Um...let me think. That's it! I am an excellent thinker. I spend a lot of time thinking about what I'm going to write and I'm sure somebody somehwere (probably in this very blog) said that thinking is just as important as writing. Unforutnately I am a terrible typist. Ten years solid two finger typing, no improvement on the horizon - who says practise make perfect?

It's my turn to host the Coffee morning next week - am off to think about what to write......
Rx

JJ said...

No I beat you for lateness Rowan, just back from Singapore...

I procrastinate really well, and what I do badly is the getting down to the writing.

I do starting again really well and seeing it through very badly!

JJ

Leigh Russell said...

What do I do well? I find it impossible to critique my own work. I tried. I left my first MS for a few months, hoping to achieve some distance from it, but when I reread it, it was there in my head again and I couldn't be at all objective. I was right back in the creative moment, writing it for the first time. I think it's like when you don't see your children for a while. You don't feel as though you're meeting a stranger when you see them again. Maybe after years I might be able to revisit a book and view it with some objectivity (which might be a painful experience in my case!) but I've only been writing for less than a year, so can't do that yet.

I've no idea if what I do is any good or not, or what, if anything, I do well or poorly and so far the only people who've read my whole MS (at least I hope they have!) are my publisher and the editor. I'm trying to feel more confident about other people reading my book when it comes out....

So I suppose I write for myself and the buzz it gives me. Yes! That's what I do well. I enjoy writing. Isn't that why we do it? I've no idea if my work's any good or not. I'll have to wait and see what other people say, or leave it for a few years and then have another look - although I suspect it will still be fresh in my head.

Please feel free to drop by my blog where comments frm fellow writers are always welcome.

UN PEU LOUFOQUE said...

At the risk of sounding pathetic I really dont know as I just do it.However I can say that somedays I am so in love wiht what has flowed from my brain I think I may be the next Saki and the next day I think I might be better taking up taxidermy.