What do you feel you need to improve upon as a writer?


Stopping myself using the same turns of phrase over and over. I seem to have an unhealthy attachment to describing characters smiling.

Also seconding fight scenes. :dizzy_face:


This is me so much as well. I pour stuff onto the page as my brain parses it so I always have to go back through and excise a bunch if unnecessary commas.

It’s labor intensive, but I find just re-reading not as an author but as, well, a reader makes the awkward commas much more obvious.


Ah, jeez, where do I start?

Actually sitting down and just writing is probably the hardest for me. Part of the problem is I’m constantly exhausted, another part is that I lack discipline, and tying those two together is my perfectionism that makes me immediately hate every word I type. I need to work on making myself sit down and just write, even if all I’m writing is utter garbage. You can’t improve what doesn’t exist, after all.

Additionally, I could stand to do a lot more research regarding combat and warfare, as I feel those are two things I find myself struggling to write realistically a lot.

I could probably work on my pacing, too. Among many other things.


I don’t need to improve on anything. Like Mary Poppins I’m practically perfect in every way. Y’all are a hot mess, apparently.


I think my weakest points are discipline–I tend to tell myself that I need things perfect to start writing, or make excuses when I should really just sit down and do the damn thing–and perfectionism; I can’t write all the way to the end of something in one big spurt, I write in little bits and pieces and spend forever editing and micro-editing those paragraphs before moving onward, which can really slow me down…


I think I need to improve in …ALL


Then maybe you enligthen us. :slight_smile:


Two-note characterization, as mentioned here. In future I aim to include more grace notes, human touches, and “fluff” to enliven a work that tends to (a) be pretty relentlessly grim, and (b) keep the characters focused on plot and ideas, more than interaction.


I believe that all you have to do is keep writing even if you dont consider it is good enough. Finish the book and the chapter. Thats all that matters. You should judge your writing only when you finish. Even if you dont like the result is better than nothing since you should have learned from your previus mistakes. You can alsowatch learn some tips from writers you like. But again a true writer is the one who writes. Not the one who thinks what to write.


The big thing is though: learning from your mistakes, and having self-awareness.

There’s a difference between scrapping your art in the middle of production, Franz Kafka-style, and keeping a healthy awareness of the flaws or shortcomings of your personal abilities. Doing the former is a tragedy, but bypassing the latter turns you into Ayn Rand. And no one wants another Ayn Rand.


I am working to improve my narrative structure building currently.

Structuring a story from the Opening Act to the Denouement is something I have never done in game development and I feel this is my kryptonite as a CoG/HG writer.

Thank you for this post. This adds to things I am putting on my list to learn and comprehend. This is a lot like my Ordinary World efforts but on a more theoretical focus vs the practical implications of the Ordinary World implementation.


I have a looot, but my biggest writing flaw is that…I’m lazy. Hm, no, that I’m extremley lazy.

I don’t like to do things that require more effort than simply writing. World building is fun until it’s not. Creating the outline, foil characters, developmental points, etc., is fun…until it’s not. Writing the big important scenes is fun but leading up to that is not. It doesn’t have to be fun all the time, and it won’t be, but you do have to push through it and I never do more than getting halfway through their planning before beginning. So I end up trying to build a house that stands on toothpicks.

Basically I think all writing can be improved by just simply writing and taking in constructive criticism and then writing some more, but I never want to apply myself to my words. It’s really just shallow skimming that had little thought behind it, and I know I’m capable of much more than I put down. I need to form a complete skeleton instead of just half-baked trails with no direction, essentially. (The solution is that I need to stop being such a baby and just do that heavy lifting already. :baby: )

Also, fight scenes cuz they a beech.


I get so excited and enraptured by my vision of things that I forget to make it coherent on page. A passage will make perfect sense to me, but my beta readers become hopelessly confused. I need to work on slowing down and concretely communicating action and plot points.


Showing instead of telling. If a charcter’s sad, I’ll say he’s sad, instead of conveying it through actions, thoughts, etc. Sometimes my writing can read like a terrible screenplay, haha :sweat_smile:


I actually got multiple bad reviews for some of my games because I described characters smiling or winking too much. :grimacing: Oops.


Writer’s burnout, I always write down an idea then never touch it again. This is why I’m so hesitant to make a Hosted Game, I worry that I’ll let it die and disappoint people. :cry:

I also lack cohesiveness in writing. My works make sense to me but to others it’s confusing because I can’t properly put my thoughts into sentences. My grammar is horrible too.


This post combined with MMM’s theme brought a picture of Jack Nicholson from The Shining to mind:




And smirking. But that’s another defect I have but i love brown lifting, smirks, and seductive winks. I hate blush and write about avoiding gaze or shyly refusing or accept.

It is something I am struggling for improve. Like I don’t understand shynessI have to remember constantly. How a shy pc will act in that scene? How asubmissive character will react. What choices will it choose? How will they deliver dialogue lines.? How will react to a new people or a ro that is shy too. And one bold?

For me Is very difficult as i am to the other side of spectrum. But I think I am learning about how people work and that is very entertaining and good for the spirit.

However I have no doubt when I present public my demo many shy people will help me to ironed out my default boldness toeverything


To quote Mary Poppins yet again, I never explain anything!

In reality, I would say my biggest weak points are descriptive text, reusing the same words far too close together for comfort, and constantly struggling to give characters an individual voice instead of them all sounding like me. My humor is also hit or miss; I like to think the hits make up for the misses but it’s an accuracy issue no matter how you slice it.


Of my current writing projects, the prime three right now are all powerfully plot-driven. Mainly because I determined that this was a weakness that I needed to aggressively work to improve. Intrigue is one of my favorite genres but intrigue is driven by plot and requires tight, cohesive plotting with a rational progression of events, which makes it a huge challenge for me. Everything has to fall into place just so, or the whole house of cards collapses under its own weight. I deeply envy writers like Megan Whalen Turner, who do it seemingly effortlessly.

I can ramble and meander about a character’s “personal journey” for thousands of words easily, but throw in some peril and puzzles and I’m tearing my hair out.