Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Write To Your Strengths

My last post garnered a couple of responses along the lines of 'I find description hard'. So do I, which is why I decided to write something that didn't require description in any detail.

If you find someting hard you have two options: practice or work around it. If description is hard for you, try scriptwriting. It's not as if there's no work around for scriptwriters. The BBC actively encourage people to send them scripts, especially unpublished and amateur writers. There are also a large number of production companies seeking out scripts for radio, television and film, which a Google search or flipping through the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook will find for you.

If scriptwriting isn't your preferred form of writing, then how about non-fiction. For all the acclaim Isaac Asimov won for his fiction, he made more money with his non-fiction work. Novelists can also be found writing non-fiction articles, and not always about writing. Douglas Adams, the creator of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, wrote extensively on new technolgy and ecology.

Another alternative is to work with another writer. If you're not good at description, but good with dialogue, why not write together? You could sharpen up their dialogue in the pieces they write and they can help you with the description.

In short, if you find an aspect of writing hard, there are more opportunities than you think to help you either overcome the deficiency or ignore it altogether.

4 comments:

Nick Wilford said...

Interesting points, Martin. I think the main thing I struggle with is not description as a whole, but backstory - how to fit it in without it being clunky. Scriptwriting means all the emphasis is on dialogue to drop little hints, which would be good to apply back to novels. I would like to write a proper play one day!

Patti said...

I used to hate description, still kind of do, but with practice it's not quite as painful.

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

I've also found description gets easier the more you do it. Great suggestions here, Martin.

Martin Willoughby said...

Nick: Try writing a script of your next novel, or your current one, and see if it helps.

Patti: I'm not keen on it either, but I'm getting better...sort of.

Cindy: Practice makes perfect.