Your Penmonkey Report Card
So, last night, I was working on edits for Mockingbird, the sequel to the upcoming Blackbirds, and generally speaking, I enjoy revisions. While at times they make me want to pound my head against a desk until it’s the consistency of rice pudding, that’s still oddly a good feeling — like, the way way that tonguing your sensitive gums somehow hurts but also feels awesome at the same time? I dunno. Shut up.
Point is, as I go through the draft — and this is true of a lot of my drafts — I become aware of my deficiencies and trouble spots as a writer. I know my problem isn’t really going to be in the editing — I turn in pretty clean copy. Minimal typos, grammar in good order outside stylistic concerns, etc. I think I stay on point with character pretty well and I think pacing and suspense and theme are all well-handled.
Really, my problem is plot.
Plot is tricky li’l sumbitch. It just… it squirms away. Like an oiled up ferret. And the hell of it is, soon as you find one of those plot threads that needs to change or get cut you find that it shows up everywhere in the draft — and suddenly it’s like tearing out weeds. You can’t just pop out the tap-root. This fucker’s got shoots and runners and tendrils everywhere.
So, anyway, that brings me around to a question:
What’s your deficiency? I ask because, well, I’m curious. But also because it’ll help me focus future blog posts. Where do you run into problems? It can be something technical, something more abstract and story-based, or something that has to do with all the vagaries of the writer’s life. Hit me with your best shot. Take a good long look at your writing and your writing process.
Where could you use work? I don’t mean just a little bit, but like, if you were some kind of Sinister Penmonkey Supervillain, what would be your greatest weakness, your vulnerability?
Lob ’em at me.