What Is Your Writing Forte?

Writing Forte

Writing is such a unique journey for each and every writer. Some find it easy to meld their chapters one into another; others find it easy to get just the right ending, with some kind of twist or surprise that gives it a great edge. Others still, find it easy to jump right into a story and write a grab-the-reader beginning. And, there are other aspects of writing a story that some writers just breeze though effortlessly.

I find it relatively easy to start a story. I can create a beginning that jumps into the action, which is what most stories, especially children’s stories need. But . . . I find it difficult to end my stories. I have no idea why. I can start it, bring it along toward an ending, but, then I fizzle out. My endings are initially weak and definitely lacking.

While I noted this weakness in my writing, it didn’t really hit home until I submitted a manuscript to a children’s publisher. I pitched the story to the publisher during an Online Writers Conference. The publisher allowed me to submit a synopsis and the first three chapters.

The editor who read the chapters and synopsis liked the storyline, but was confused about my ending in the synopsis. As I mentioned above I have trouble with my endings. Aside from that, the editor recommended the publisher request the manuscript so they could look it over. They did advise I edit it first and work on the ending. And so I did. I created an entirely new ending.

It’s funny, but I think there are times when some form of inspiration can take us where we don’t usually tread . . . that helps us overcome our obstacles or mountains.

In the case of my story, I came up with a pretty good ending that tied everything together and afforded a surprise. I worked on this story for around two years and finally when it counted, I found the right path for the story to take.

We writers must pay attention to our writing weak spots and work on them. I was fortunate that an editor and publisher looked beyond my weak points and gave me the opportunity to improve my story. This is not always the case.

So, what’s a writer to do?

Well, the very basics are simple:

1. Make sure you’re a part of a critique group with new and experienced writers. The critique members may be able to help you over the hurdles. At the very least, they’ll catch a number of mistakes in everything from structure to grammar that you missed.

2. If you have to, write a few different scenarios in the section you’re having trouble with, to help you open up. And, if you’re still having trouble with your story, put it away for at least a week, preferably more, and then go back to it. It’s almost like magic; you’ll see it differently, with a newness and awareness. And, listen when inspiration comes a knockin!

3. If nothing else works, hire a developmental editor or ghostwriter to help rewrite the sections you’re having difficulty with.


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2 thoughts on “What Is Your Writing Forte?

  1. Excellent advice, Karen. After much personal review of my work and feedback from critique members I’m aware dialogue is a strength of mine, but showing versus telling is something that needs some work. I know the concept, but the words don’t come as easy to me as I would like.

    • Cheryl, I hear you and so do most other writers. It’s not as easy as it sounds to simply show rather than tell. Glad you found the post helpful and thanks for taking the time to comment!