This month TCWT is being hosted out of Ch1Con – which I cannot avoid pronouncing chee-con! And because I am being a little silly today, I shall force you to read the entire post before finding the schedule.
You’re lucky to be getting that – I lately overhauled my picture gallery and had to sift through endless signatures and maps to find it.
“What is your greatest weakness as a writer? What’s your greatest strength?”
Can we have plurality here? ‘Cause otherwise I’ll be agonizing about superlatives all day and miss the deadline. And I’ve got so many deadlines… Hang on. This wouldn’t work on campus, but I think I’ve done half of this assignment already. So to save you the trouble of redirecting, I’ll pull that material over here and then add the other half.
Greatest weakness as a writer: I’ve limited it to five.
- I’m quite bad at not falling in love with my own – or borrowed – characters. This can make things tricky when I have to kill/maim/injure them. Though I do still believe I will someday meet Kijé Yenseh in real life.
- I am very bad at deliberate humor. I usually end up either hating it, hating myself, or hating the characters. I think Normal possibly counts as mildly humorous… but that’s kind of a one-off, written quietly while I listened to my classmates gabbling about how much booze they could hold. Still working on humor.
- I cannot for the life of me keep a plot tidy for any more than about three thousand words. I’m often asked – sometimes asked – someone once asked me – how I manage to fit a whole story into three thousand. The short answer is: because I hate packing into a large suitcase, and it’s no different with wordcount. I always think that if I’m using that many words, I must be drabbling somewhere. I’m hugely (probably illogically) proud of Breaking Point, because it is the longest sensible thing I’ve ever written.
- I nearly always use too much dialogue in drafts. In any given story on this entire blog, the published version has roughly half the talking of the notebook version. So I have to be ruthless, and if I’ve found just the perfect line for Obi-Wan or River Sanchez or someone and it comes in after dialogue-saturation point, I have to write a whole ‘nother story to work it into. Which is just great for the occupancy of the hutch.
- Not a weakness with my writing, but a weakness as a writer: I occasionally get so deep in a story that I forget where I am, slightly more often forget who I am, and this does terrible things to my accent, which will be American one day, and Oxbridge the next, and if a story is being simply too dreadful, my dear, I’m quite likely to switch accent midway through a conversation. This is rather trying.
Greatest strengths as a writer: Again, five. Is it just me, or does this seem awfully immodest? Shouldn’t we each have a friend say what they think we’re good at? In which case, I think I’m best qualified to write on ErinKenobi2893‘s strengths. And she’s not on this chain so I think I’m safe from retaliation.
- Erin is very good at keeping characters in character – her own, canon characters, and one of mine. Despite the delightful chaos of Selay’uu, which I frankly think would send anybody from Father Brown downwards out of character, everybody’s every action and word somehow works. (Including the time with the green goop and the collapsing shed roof.)
- Unlike me, Erin isn’t afraid of deliberately making her characters look silly, or making herself look silly. This has the remarkable effect of making everybody who comes into contact with one of her funny stories inexplicably happier. There are also, occasionally, charming domestic touches in the most dire and awful circumstances. While not silly, it does double duty in both defusing and emphasizing the danger. (I have got to learn how to do that…)
- She says what she means, and doesn’t withdraw the truth, or a necessary plot point, just because someone doesn’t like it. Chapeau, mademoiselle. Mine off to you.
- Following on, Erin is a writer of high principles. These are rare. These are to be admired when found. She won’t justify a good guy – or any other guy – doing the wrong thing; there will be consequences. She draws only the absolute necessities of ick, and that with a gossamer touch.
- Erin’s own characters have the most peculiar blend of familiarity and novelty I have ever encountered. It’s rather like meeting a pleasant stranger – or an unpleasant one – and realizing slowly that you’ve known him your whole life. This is reassuring and creepy by turns. Rowan and Margery are prime examples. (Not that I mean to distract you from the latest AU, Erin!)
Finally, lllllaaaaadies and gentlemen, the schedule. We seem to be a bit… gappy this month.
Tuesday May 5th — The Little Engine That Couldn’t
Wednesday May 6th — Ariel Kalati, Writer
Friday May 8th — Galloping Free
Saturday May 9th — Miriam Joy Writes
Sunday May 10th — The Ramblings of Aravis
Wednesday May 13th — Light and Shadows
Friday May 15th — Musings from Neville’s Navel
Saturday May 16th — The World of the Writer
Tuesday May 19th — Butterflies of the Imagination
Wednesday May 20th — Introspection Creative
Friday May 22nd — Spellbound
Sunday May 24th — Unikke Lyfe
Monday May 25th — The Long Life of a Lifelong Fangirl
Wednesday May 27th — Against the Shadows
Friday May 29th — Teens Can Write, Too, announcing June’s chain