Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday #104: Writing Superpowers

This week's topic:
What are your writing and publishing superpowers (drafting? beta-reading? writing queries? plotting? character creation? etc.) -- and what's your kryptonite?

Please consider this Sarah's writing report card.

Plotting - A+
Notes: Sarah shows great enthusiasm and promise in plotting. She loves coming up with twists and turns for her characters and creating unexpected revelations. As a matter of fact, she shows so much enthusiasm for plotting, that sometimes other aspects of the story suffer. We would like to see Sarah work towards becoming a more well-rounded writer who puts the same kind of attention into every aspect of her story.

Grammar - A
Notes: Sarah's grammar usage is sufficient. If there are errors in her writing, it's usually because she intends for them to be there. Or, she just got "creative".

Prose - B
We've seen improvement in Sarah's prose over the last year. She uses fewer qualifiers and unnecessary words that muddle her writing. She's also beginning to avoid static and passive verbs. However, her moments of genius are few and, no matter how many times she rewrites, no one would ever compare her prose to that of the greats.

Character Building - B
Her characters are often sacrificed at the altar of plot and aren't always allowed minds and dreams of their own. She's getting better at this, but as of now, only two or three characters in each book truly sing for themselves.

World Building - B
This is one area in which we've seen great improvement. Sarah seems to be putting more time and care into her world building. We suspect this is because she's figured out how important world building is to plot.

Writing Queries - D
This is where our frustration with Sarah truly blossoms. No matter how many websites she visits, she's at a loss as to how to write an effective query letter. Usually she gets to a point where she gives up on the whole thing and, rather than continuing to perfect her query, decides to write another book instead. We've warned her that this approach is self-defeating, but she tends to bury her head in her netbook and make humming noises. Sarah promises us that the query letter for her current WIP is going to "knock our socks off". We'll believe it when we see it.

Please have a talk with Sarah regarding her poor attention to writing queries and promoting her own work. Also, please ask her to stop eating the crayons. Those are for the younger kids. Replacing them is getting expensive.


  1. Bwahahahaha! I love your report card! And I assure you mine would be far worse. (Yet another round of "Dana is not living up to her potential...")
    Good luck with the queries. Here's a suggestion: do you have any crit partners or betas who are good at queries? Have them write a draft for you, then edit from there!

  2. Ah, queries! Thou art a heartless bitch. I'm right with you on that one. And plotting! Yay for plotting! There are too many books out right now that just sort of skim over the plot for romance instead.

  3. is all I have to say about queries.

    But I saw your comment on Katie Hart's blog and just wondered, how long have you been married and you haven't trained him yet? I'm thinking days. ;)

    PS - Love the dancing and writing combination. Very creative brain inside your head.

  4. "Her characters are often sacrificed at the altar of plot" I think this proves that 'prose' should have gotten an A! Great post.

  5. Don't give up on your queries! I know how frustrating they can be to write, of course, but it's better than starting a brand new book. I think...

  6. LOVE the writing report card HA! I get a D for queries too...bleh.

  7. What a fun idea, to do a writing report card!! I'd love to get a B in world building.

    Also? Yum, crayons :)

  8. This was such a creative way to do this. I also don't pass queries.