The Chuck Wendig Writer Evaluation

If you guys haven’t seen yesterday’s post on Chuck Wendig’s blog, you should check it out, because he posted a great post on evaluating yourself as a writer, and gave us these questions to ask ourselves.

So, here is my Chuck Wendig writer evaluation!

a) What’s your greatest strength / skill in terms of writing/storytelling?

Tension– I hope! I love how much character it brings out and how much it adds to the stakes of a moment.

b) What’s your greatest weakness in writing/storytelling? What gives you the most trouble?

Layering. Balancing everything going on in a moment and keeping all of it present in a scene.  I usually write out the action, then have to go back in and increase the tension, add more thought and emotion, foreshadow, fill in atmospheric details, etc., to make sure I hit all the layers that need to be happening.

c) How many books or other projects have you actually finished? What did you do with them?

I have finished three novels. One I have on the back burner for eventual revision, and two are with my agent.

d) Best writing advice you’ve ever been given? (i.e. really helped you)

Oh, man.  It’s hard to say what’s impacted me most, because so many wonderful people have helped me in so many ways. Connect with other writers and listen to what they have to say, don’t give up, realize a first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, finish the book before you judge it, read books on writing, read in your genre, etc.

I think the stand-out advice, though, has been to read a book a week. It’s hard with a writer’s busy life, but we can’t expect to be good storytellers if we aren’t good story consumers. Reading great books has been the absolute number one biggest factor when my writing improves. Want some recs? Read everything in this box.

e) Worst writing advice you’ve ever been given? (i.e. didn’t help at all, may have hurt)

Write what you know. If that were good advice, the world wouldn’t contain most of my favorite genres. I think it’s a much better interpretation of that old piece of advice to write what you emotionally connect with– core human experiences. Betrayal, revenge, guilt, fear, hope, healing, determination, wonder, love. Write that.

f) One piece of advice you’d give other writers?

Read a ton, and when you react or connect, stop and think about why. The writer worked magic (okay, used a psychological principle) in that moment. Stop and think about why you had a reaction and how the writer built that moment. Connections happen sentence by sentence, and it’s all there on the page. Break it down. Figure it out. Use it yourself.

What about you? Fill out the evaluation in the comments! I want to hear from you.

    • Renee Wynne
    • March 5th, 2014

    Here goes…

    a) What’s your greatest strength / skill in terms of writing/storytelling?
    This is a hard one to answer, because I still consider myself new as a writer, and need some more critiquing to work out my strengths. I do enjoy building and developing the romance between my main characters though, so I’m hoping that translates on the page and is one of my strengths :)

    b) What’s your greatest weakness in writing/storytelling? What gives you the most trouble?
    Description! I love writing the action as I see it in my head, but going back and making the reader an all encompassing part of it, usually has me floundering to find the right words

    c) How many books or other projects have you actually finished? What did you do with them?
    I’ve finished two (if you count my current WIP in edits). The first one (written prior to learning about writing) has been hidden in a dark, dark place, never to see the light of day again

    d) Best writing advice you’ve ever been given? (i.e. really helped you)
    Read, read, read.
    Never stop learning about writing, and never stop writing.
    Believe in your story. Believe in your writing. You’ll always be your biggest critic.
    Get your work critiqued, not by a family member/friend, but someone who knows the craft of writing
    Join Twitter! Get amongst the writing community

    e) Worst writing advice you’ve ever been given? (i.e. didn’t help at all, may have hurt)
    Write what you love to read, which is actually GOOD advice, but its a kick in the guts every time I’m reminded there is no market for my story due to saturation. Still, I won’t give up!

    f) One piece of advice you’d give other writers?
    Writing can take time. A lot of time. Make sure you’re in it for the right reasons, that you can’t imagine going a day without sitting down and writing some words. You love it THAT much. You may never sell a book, but you must never let yourself stop writing, or learning about writing.

  1. It is good to know what you can do! And what you can’t. What works and what doesn’t … it’s different for everyone.
    a) greatest strength … description, I love living in the moment and making everything come to life!
    b) greatest weakness … beginnings, finding just the right place to start, making sure it doesn’t include too much info dumping and close enough to inciting incident.
    c)Projects … I have written seven YA books and one chapter book. YA … one querying, one editing, another waiting its turn for editing and four collecting dust until I can get back to them … the chapter book is waiting for me to turn it into a cool MG. I have had better success with shorts, one published years ago in a magazine, one placed ninth in contest … and with projectReutsway last November, I have two waiting to be published in an anthology and another to be posted on a blog.
    d) Best advice … hmmm … there’s been so much, write from your heart comes to mind. If you don’t love what you’re writing how can anyone love it when they read. Always listen to critiques, no matter how painful, there might be something in there that will spark an idea.
    e)Worst advice … Be sure to outline, plot … It does nothing for me except cause frustration at every turn.
    f)Advice I’d give? Find what process works for you and never look back! Keep writing!

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