Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Strengths and Weaknesses

Taking a leaf out of Danny Stack's blog, I thought I'd discuss my strengths and weaknesses, really to help myself.

So what are my strengths?

I've been told I have a very violent mind (on numerous occasions) and that I'm good at action. So we'll stick action in the 'strengths' column.

I'm always thinking of new ideas to write. I have a folder on my laptop with loads of files just less than a page - ideas for screenplays, characters, events, worlds, even weapons and battles. So I don't have any problem thinking of things to write.

Detail. When it comes to action, I'm very detailed (sometimes too detailed). It's ironic, because all the way through school teachers told me that my work lacked detail. And they were right. But there's one very good reason for that - it was boring as hell. Quite frankly I don't care why we have earthquakes or why volcanoes erupt. All I want to do is stay out of their way! But now I'm writing things I'm actually interested in, the detail isn't a problem.

But detail isn't always a good thing. It's a writers job to say what will happen. But sometimes you can go into too much detail and it will seem like you're telling others (the director, actors, special effects people) what to do. Because I have a very clear vision of how my scene will play out, I can sometimes go overboard. So that's something to work on - be detailed, but not obvious.

And that brings us to the bad column - weaknesses.

Dialogue. I know that my dialogue can be very plain, on the nose or obvious and repetitive. That's definitely something I need to work on. And I'm trying as hard as I can.

Attention. I have a notoriously short attention span. "Neil doesn't concentrate," the teachers would say at parents' evening. True, but that's because I don't care why we have earthquakes or.....wait, we've been here before. Never mind. Yes, so attention is something to work on. I have a tendency to write a bit of one thing then go onto another when I get bored half way through the day. A screenplay would get finished a lot faster if I concentrated on it. But that's just how I work. I've tried to help myself in this area by setting up some goals - screenplays I want to finish in the next few months.

Patience. I hate it when things take a long time to do. Michael's Resignation is in the first draft and we're in the funding stage. This is going to take forever and it's killing me! Alex assures me that everything is on track and I believe him. But I want things to move faster, dammit! I want that thing on the screen now! Hmm so that is something I need to work on. It's a frustrating business and I need to take my time to get things done. I'm a classic example of a youngster who wants it all now - before he's earned it. But hah! I know that's my problem, so it will become less of a problem! Mua haha! Don't ask me why that warranted an evil laugh, it just did.

Procrastination. ha, I love that word. For years I thought it meant something else. It is a problem I have (procrastination, not the other thing). I tend to do other things rather than write. I blame facebook, games sites, youtube and this gorram blog! And it's not just writing that I don't do. As I write this, I should be revising for an exam I have in a few days. Hopefully the goals I've set will help with that too. If I don't meet them, I'll.......I'll........probably blog about it......

I think that about covers all my strengths and weaknesses, but I'm sure there are way more out there, ready to see me, go "Ah, there's a procrastinating, action-writing, attention-freak bloke with crap concentration! Get him!!! CHARGE!!!!!!!!!!!"

Hmm......maybe not quite that dramatic, but you get the point.

Shiny writing ahead all,


Michelle Goode said...

Yet more things we have in common! I can sympathise with a lot of what you just wrote...

I won't elaborate as I know you know me well enough already not to...But I will give you this bit of advice:

Save ALL your writing stuff to an external hard drive. Better still, save it all to USB as you go. Because your laptop might suddenly die one day, like mine did yesterday! (I spared you the "Aaaargh" texts I sent to a few of my closest friends, as I knew you were busy, but my God if I had had a lot of unsaved stuff on there I would have spewed. Thankfully, I only stood to lose a bit of my supernatural drama. Luckily, Ant managed to resurrect my laptop. Panic over!

I need to do one of these strengths and weaknesses blogs... And yes, totally agree with you that the blogging is a distraction in its own right!!!

Neil said...

I tend to save everything onto a USB every week (perhaps I should do it more often). I suppose I should really save it on another PC in case I use the flash drive though.

Twas lucky you had saved recently then, cos it would be a nightmare to lose all that writing. And a good job Ant managed to bring her back! I trust she's ok now.

Yeah, we're in a paradox or something. We blog about distractions and about blogging being a distraction. So what do we do? Blog about the distracting blog!