Since I prefer my blog posts to be positive I'll start out with listing a few things that I think are my strengths. I'll do the weaknesses list afterwards. It's longer.
- Dialog. I think this might be my strongest area. I've been told by several kind folks that I write believable dialog.
- POV. I'm pretty good at staying within the desired point of view. I write almost exclusively in third person limited, past tense. I'm most comfortable with it. (I've tinkered more with first person lately, however. Maybe I'm blogging too much?)
- Grammar. I've got a decent handle on most of the more basic rules of grammar. (How I ever managed this is completely beyond me. I literally despised English in high school, a fact to which my grades bear witness.) I break the rules quite often, but it's usually intentional. Sometimes it's for effect. Sometimes it's because I'm still a rebel at heart.
I've listed my numerous weakness in no particular order. If the day ever comes when you find yourself critiquing my writing, you'll need to watch for:
- Wordiness. I'm too wordy. Period. This manifests itself in everything I write and requires serious editing to correct.
- Prepositional Phrases. Somewhat related to the above, these things spew from me like rain from thunderclouds. (See? Three of them in the very statement stating I have the problem! How lame is that?)
- Repetition. I say something. Then I say it again. And again and again. (Get my meaning?) My thesaurus wants a raise.
- Passive voice. It just comes so unbelievably natural to me.
- Proofreading. I read what I intended to say, not what I actually wrote. I know I'm supposed to read my sentences backwards. It helps you spot duplicated or omitted words and makes catching typos a little easier. But really, half my life is backwards. I rarely do it.
- Commas. Commas appear in my sentences everywhere I pause, before something I want to emphasize or set apart, when I take a breath, and normally before the word but. I overuse them.
- Spelling. This is how I know God loves me. He gave me spell check!
So, when I post short stories, please feel free to comment on them. Even those that have been up for a while. Let me know if you enjoyed it--or if you didn't. Heck, posting a critique in the comments is fine too! I've got a thick skin and I like to know what worked and what didn't. Constructive feedback helps not only me, but anyone else reading it too.
We learn by doing. And we learn by feedback. Our biggest weaknesses are the ones we don't know we have!
I'm all done exposing myself now. What are your strengths and weaknesses? And how do you exploit or watch for them?