A few months ago, I wrote about endings.
Endings are my weakness. Well, they used to be my weakness, till I started focusing on them. Now they’re often much better and stronger than my beginnings. With practice, I’ve managed to evolve a stronger ending with decent pacing, and that doesn’t fall flat (most of the time. No one’s perfect.).
The point of this post isn’t actually about endings, though. It’s about knowing your weaknesses as a writer. Where do you fall short? I know my rough points. I am a teller instead of a shower (which is okay, but can be a weakness at times), and tend towards ambiguity.
In order to defeat these tendencies, I practice, and I ask other people for their opinions.
- Step one: Write your first draft. Don’t worry about style. Just get it all out on your laptop, computer, tablet, notebook, loose leaf paper, etc. Just write it all out until you can’t write any more.
- Step two: If you do have a beta reader or editor, send it off to them and wait for their response. If you don’t, find someone. Preferably someone in the industry or someone who just loves to read.
- Step three: Take their critique seriously, but don’t take it to heart. That’s the key ingredient to feedback. Understand that YOU do not suck. Your work does not suck (maybe it does but ignore that because who cares–suck is a matter of opinion, anyway). Your work needs work. Everyone’s does! Even Faulkner’s first drafts needed work. So put your ego aside and take it all in as things that will make you better.
- Step four: Identify your weaknesses. This will help you with your next edit, draft, and even your next first draft.
- Step five: Keep practicing, and repeat as needed.