I love writing. I love working my way deeply into a story, following its internal compulsions and clusters of imagery, which I'm aware are theoretically under my control but which feel more like a trail of clues guiding me to discover what the true story is. Perhaps best of all, I love persuading readers to follow me in my love for the characters.

Or at any rate, I used to love writing. I don't know what my problem is these days, but I don't trust my own judgment anymore. I can no longer tell if I've written a shapely sentence or a moving scene or simply a collection of flaccid words that imitate my memory of how storytelling works. Right now I'm depending on [livejournal.com profile] wrisomifu to prod me word by word through the month of November, and let me tell you, it's a knock-down drag-out fight with my lack of motivation every damn day.

In the process of pep-talking myself, I reviewed what I think my stories do well. Of course, no one can read their own work entirely objectively, or get an outsider's view of their virtues and defects. We can figure out our selling points but we can't experience their impact in the same way a reader can.

So the thing that surprised me? My endings are excellent. Even the open endings. Maybe especially the open endings. It wouldn't have occurred to me if I hadn't lined up the fics in my head, but I realized that, with the exception of "In Infinite Remorse of Soul," which suffers from too abrupt a conceptual leap when it hits the finish line, I'm happy with every single ending I've written. I've earned them; or rather, the fic has. And I can still scarcely believe that I pulled them off.

What about you, oh writers and artists on my friends list? What are you good at? Have you surprised yourself with something you've accomplished? Is there a gift that runs consistently through your work that you can point to with pride? Go ahead, boast. I'd really love to hear what the rest of you think about your own abilities. Fandom firmly discourages any frank declarations that we consider ourselves talented in some respect, presumably because inflated egos are a pain to have around, but also because the idea that a hobby/silly idfic/derivative porn could ever be "good" invites claims of pretension. However, most of us are already self-doubting enough that we talk about craft in general terms and don't discuss our personal successes; we don't actually need policing.

So tell me what your favorite things are. In your own work, not someone else's. Give me examples. Name names. Point to particular instances. Provide links. I'm really curious to hear what you have to say. *chinhands*

1. If you feel a sudden overwhelming urge to balance what you're good at with a mention of what you're not, stuff the dormouse urge upside-down in a teapot until it falls asleep.

2. I know Sunday is a Day of Chat for many flisties, so please feel welcome to chime in several days later. As you all must have figured out by now, I myself am beyond fashionably late.
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So I posted a rambling but heartfelt meditation on my experiences of writing original fic versus my debt of gratitude to fandom. It's over here on the [profile] meta_writer com if you're interested.
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So I posted a rambling but heartfelt meditation on my experiences of writing original fic versus my debt of gratitude to fandom. It's over here on the [livejournal.com profile] meta_writer com if you're interested.
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