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Take A Moment Focusing on strengths

New Genius Room

35 Writing Contests in September 2022 - No entry fees

Izuku

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Hi all! Writing is hard. Exhausting, sometimes. Sometimes I devote way too much time to it and later feel deep guilt over not accomplishing more "meaningful" tasks.

Sometimes we focus so much on our weaknesses we fail to see our own strengths. We hear "show, don't tell", "dialogue sounds fake", "too much description", "too little description", "cardboard character", etc. Etc.

I want to invite you to take a moment and think about two strengths you have as a writer. Maybe you've received comments in feedback. Maybe you're just flipping proud of something you've written. Embrace those strengths.

You are a writer because you are writing (maybe not now, but I bet something's cooking ;) ).

Happy Sunday, y'all.
 

RK Capps

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Because writers often hear the negative and disbelieve the positive, when critiquing I make a conscious effort to point out a balance of positives. There might be a great turn of phrase, a joke that makes me laugh, good pacing etc. Without the writer becoming aware of what works in their voice, how can they improve? Critiquing others not only helps them see the negative, it help them see the positive, and in turn, we see ways to improve our own writing. Writers need both to keep improving. I'd say, I enjoy improving my dialogue and worldbuilding, so I hope they're my strength one day :)
 

Izuku

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Because writers often hear the negative and disbelieve the positive, when critiquing I make a conscious effort to point out a balance of positives. There might be a great turn of phrase, a joke that makes me laugh, good pacing etc. Without the writer becoming aware of what works in their voice, how can they improve? Critiquing others not only helps them see the negative, it help them see the positive, and in turn, we see ways to improve our own writing. Writers need both to keep improving. I'd say, I enjoy improving my dialogue and worldbuilding, so I hope they're my strength one day :)
Your critiques taught me the importance of positive feedback and how to give it.
 

RG Worsey

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My strengths are characters and dialogue, definitely. Plus, being in tune with the spirit of the age. My weaknesses are plotting (holes!) and getting the reader properly inside my characters' heads. I'm working on that.

As for critiquing? I'm not here for praise, I'm here to get better. The most useful feedback I ever got was when a beta read the whole of my first novel manuscript and said it was unpublishable, self-indulgent shite (I'm paraphrasing!)

It was a shock. I skim-read, was really upset for a day or two, then went back and properly read their page by page rubbishing of my beloved book. Realised I agreed with 80-90% of what they were saying. I deleted the whole thing and started again. If they'd been kinder, I'd possibly still be ploughing away at that rubbish story, trying to shape it, instead of the brilliant one that I have now. I did throw a life raft to three of the characters, though, as I liked them so much.
 

Hannah F

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I think my main strength is emotion. As Pete says, "I know how that feels." I'm a heart-on-my-sleeve kind of person, so I guess that makes it easier to write that way.

When I receive critique, as I read through, I highlight every positive comment. When I'm finished, if I feel deflated, I look back and see how much yellow is on the pages. It makes it much easier to constructively focus on the negative comments. For me, anyway.
 

New Genius Room

35 Writing Contests in September 2022 - No entry fees

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