I Blame the Dutch (mpoetess) wrote,
I Blame the Dutch

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Okay...I Give In

The Why I Don't Suck thing. Long after everyone else has forgotten about it.

It's hard to do. My fear is that if I do appear to have a good opinion of my writing skills, I'll seem vain, or puffed-up. Arrogant. I've been trained by years of being the kid people didn't like because she was different and sometimes seemed snotty, to downplay my intelligence and any talent I possess. Modesty is a virtue that people who feel intimidated by intelligence and talent -- which is most people, self included -- seem to prize in their friends. And more -- I *do* feel like I'm something of a cheat. I know where the things that I don't like about my writing are. I just had to delete a sentence that started to list them. Force of habit. My natural desire is to say no, I'm not good, no, I'm a fake, a fraud, no, no, no, and show off all the things I know are wrong with my own work. (And conversely, I fear that if I say *that*, it'll look like I'm begging people to tell me the opposite, and I'm not.)

So, attempting to throw those shackles off, but it's difficult.

Bad reason to say I'm a good writer:

I'm a better writer than bad writers. That sounds silly, but y'all know what I mean. The story you skim through in disgust, resisting the urge to hit the delete key until the very last minute -- because, day-um. At least I didn't write that. You know you do it. When you can't think of anything else good about yourself, you can at least point to the huge ocean of people who don't write as well as you do.

And that's my first thought, when I try to come up with reasons why I don't suck, much less what thamiris actually asked for, which was Strut your stuff. Tell the world why you rule. Make your ego come. My first thought is, "At least I can punctuate, usually correctly, and I don't comma-splice, and I don't misspell the characters' names, and I know the difference between their, they're and there. I can, when pressed, write entire pages in strict iambic pentameter, though why the hell anyone would want to do that, I'm becoming less and less sure of, the more I write fiction, the less I write poetry.

But. I banish the comparison. That's not what Tham was asking for, any more than she was asking for "I get X number of LOCs per week, therefore people love my work, and I must be a good writer." She was asking us to stroke our own egos. In public, no less. To say what I, the author, like about my own writing.

So. Um.

Good reasons to say I'm a good writer:

Because I'm paranoid about not bashing or stereotyping characters I don't particularly like, I end up being more even-handed with them than...dammit, no comparisons. I am good to Buffy. Sometimes I actually think about what she's thinking. Sometimes I actually comprehend what she's thinking. I try to be fair to all characters in a story, whether I agree with their canon actions/attitude or not -- and not use them as cardboard standups with the actor's face glued on.

I can take a metaphor and bang it around for hours. Sometimes it breaks, but sometimes it comes out pretty and shiny and smooth, like rocks from a tumbling cylinder. I was a poet for sixteen or so years before I started writing fiction, and it shows. I can be lyrical without being purple, and I can drop the poetic language when it doesn't work for a given situation.

I have an ear for the dialogue of certain characters, or at least I have had in the past.

Because, again, I'm paranoid, I try very hard to maintain a balance of interior monologue and exterior dialogue (except in stories which are primarily supposed to be interior). Though I think I don't have any kind of handle on how to use the third part of the equation -- physical action -- I do try. In most cases, I think my transitions between them are smooth, and feel natural.

This list is not impressing me, you know.
Tags: me-meta, memes, writing
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