So we all have strengths and weaknesses as writers. I think being honest with myself is the only way I’ll improve. I have lots of weaknesses, so I’ll write more than one of these XD My biggest weaknesses is plot. I guess that sounds a bit odd to be a writer and not be able to write a strong plot, but that’s where I am. I guess part of the reason I am writing short stories currently is to become better at this. It’s easier to rework the plot of a short story than it is of a novel.
I mentioned that I posted my short story about the mother losing her son and donating his organs on a literary critique site. Well, I got more than one comment about the fact that there wasn’t much of a plot. I thought about it, and I realized they were right. There wasn’t really a plot or much character growth. I was so caught up in capturing a moment that I didn’t stop to consider that there wasn’t a plot XD More than one person pointed this out. The remedy would be to write a second part to it where the mother meets Jenny and is then able to finally move on, which is what I’m planning on. I brainstormed ideas with Friend A and Friend B. Friend B isn’t a writer, but she’s one of my best friends, and she has great ideas, so I often use her to help me develop a story. Friend A always has a really good plot in her stories, so I’m constantly relying on her for advice :$
I guess the more surprising thing is that it didn’t bother me that there wasn’t a plot until someone pointed it out XD I think part of the reason my plots are often weak is that I read books for the prose instead of the plot. The plot is secondary to the prose for me. And again I guess that sounds a bit odd. . . It’s not that I’m trying to be pretentious. There is something about poetic prose that sparks a fire in my heart, and I don’t think that will ever change. Even when I was a teen I loved poetic prose. I picked up a story by Atwood and fell in love with her prose. It was a magical moment in my life. I can’t change the way I feel about poetic prose. I really love it in the same manner that some people hate it. Right now I am reading a bigger variety of books to help analyze what makes a story good and what makes it boring. I’m reading a horror/fantasy/sci-fi story called Nightwatch, and I’m really enjoying it.
Most people read stories because of the plot and they find poetic prose gets in the way. I guess that’s part of my motivation to change. Although what I enjoy most as a writer is someone connecting with my characters or feeling something. If the plot is bad, most people will never get to know my characters because the story is too boring to slog through. Then there’s the fact that I’m on a spiritual quest to be the best writer I can be 🙂