12 January, 2009

Strengths and Weaknesses Meme

I've been tagged by Potsy:

When it comes to writing, what do you know you're good at, and what aspect of writing are you worst at? (Procrastination is not permitted as either part of the answer.)

I think this is probably an exercise that every writer should do, whether we share it or not, as we can play to our strengths and try and improve our weaknesses. Although I hate doing it.


Dialogue. If there's a problem with a script then it's rarely the dialogue. Although by the time it gets to someone else I would have done a few passes on it.

Re-writing. I've been told my re-writing to notes or cutting for time is quick. Left to my own devices I'll take forever but if it needs to be changed for a production, it's no bother. As long as it's made clear to me what's needed, obviously.


Conflict. I'm annoyed this is a weakness as I'm happy watching and writing small personal stories with subtle conflicts that might be indicated by just a look or a word. However those of us who love slow-burn, low-fi or mumble-core dramas are few and far between.

So I need to go for big personal stories and really obvious conflicts, if I want to rake in the cash.

Perfectionism. If I can't do it properly then I won't bother and if I do it and it falls below my own standards then I beat myself up - literally.

What's missing with lots of writers is the ability to be self-critical but going to the other extreme and being over-critical is daft and complet
ely unnecessary.

For example I've thought I wasn't good enough to do my own British version of Buffy but we've now had Torchwood and Demons.


Dal Jeanis said...

Beat yourself up literally? You have "Dobby" moments?

As far as conflicts, I'd say the "look" thing has to take place in the context where the stakes are already known to the audience. The character's goal doesn't have to be "winning the (insert competition name)" or "being the first woman who (insert male field or competition)".

It can be as simple as "earning enough money quickly to buy that really awesome (insert clothing or collectible)" or "getting out from under the thumb of that (insert person with power in movie context)".

Family dramas often have really minor stakes, but they produce compelling conflict. Put fascinating characters at cross purposes and let them do what comes naturally. I don't remember any explosions in "Good Will Hunting", but I remember the little kick his best friend got when Will finally wasn't home to answer his door.

potdoll said...

Perfectionism... I always knew you were a stubborn one Kelly!

thanks for doing the meme.

Anonymous said...

A crueller person than I might suggest that had the makers of "Torchwood" and "Demons" taken your attitude then we all would have been saved a lot of grief? I am not that person though, so I'll say nowt (other than that I would definitely watch your UK Buffy if it were made- I'm sure it would be just spiffy)

Robin Kelly said...

Dal, you're right in that if the characters are fascinating enough then it shouldn't be a problem. "Good Will Hunting" is a good example, I must watch it again.

Potsy, Stubborn is my middle name. (I don't know what my parents were thinking...)

Ano, thanks, I'd better get cracking on it then :-)