Writing Strengths Meme

Posted on: September 29th, 2007 by Anthony Rapino 10 Comments

I am pleased to announce that in this very post, I will participate in my first Meme. Absolute Vanilla & Atyllah (Or AbV, as I’ve taken to calling her) was nice enough to tag me. Now, according to her blog, I’m to consider the following:

Make a list of five strengths that you possess as a writer/artist. It’s not really bragging, it’s an honest assessment (forced upon you by this darn meme). Please resist the urge to enumerate your weaknesses, or even mention them in contrast to each strong point you list. Tag four other writers or artists whom you’d like to see share their strengths.

As I read the rules, I realized this Meme would be terribly hard. Not because I can’t come up with five strengths, but because I’d have to choose only five, from hundreds!

HA! Let us begin.

Courage!
That’s right, I said it. The courage I refer to is in the face of adversity. Adversity in this instance personified as red-faced, ADHD editors with twitching fingers poised over the “delete” key. Nah, I’m not really as bitter as all that. But, really, it takes courage to continually send out stories, knowing that chances are you’ll receive a form rejection letter. Also, courage to try different things in my writing. For the most part, I know what magazines are looking for. And yet, I still push in each and every story. I push to create something different. I push to create something unique. I push to get pushed back, and it takes courage.

Literary Sensibility
I try to work a certain literary sensibility into all my work, which you don’t often see in genre writing, especially horror. It’s a hard thing to do well, and I’m not sure I do. But I try. Think Hemingway and Hawthorne. Think Edgar Allan Poe. These are heroic writers. Ones I admire.

Atmosphere
There’s not too much to say about this. It’s just something I’m proud of in my writing. I always try to work a good sense of atmosphere into my stories. I feel it is an integral part of writing, and just as important as plot. I use atmosphere more than anything as a way to put my readers on edge. Atmosphere is scarier than blood and guts any day.

Insinuation
I think there’s a better word for it, but i can’t think of it for some reason (Making “vocabulary” understandably absent from this list). What I mean is the ability to say a lot without spelling it out for the reader. I love making my characters speak volumes through facial expressions and body language.

Humor
I try my damnedest to infuse humor in my writing. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it’s a great feeling. Humor and horror work hand in hand. There’s nothing like putting the reader on edge only to relieve the pressure through a good laugh. I find it’s also an important tool in longer pieces when I need to vary pacing.

Now, for the fun part. I tag Anita, Sury, Clyde, and Paul.

Rock.

10 Responses

  1. Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) says:

    Wow! Brilliant list! Some really cool strengths on there. I do like the one about understatement – insinuation, I think you called it. And literary sensibility. And you’re right, it does take courage to keep on submitting.
    Thanks for playing along! 😉

  2. Bhaswati says:

    Hey, thanks for the tag! I think you saved me from getting swept into a blogging black hole. Great answers there. Going by what little taste I’ve had of your writing, I nodded for each of the strengths you listed there. You are a winner, and I know you will make it big. Keep the creepy tales coming. 🙂

  3. Clyde Andrews says:

    Oh, gee, thanks, Onipar! LOL

    I can’t think of one good point about my writing at this stage!

    Bleh!

    LOL

    Clyde.

  4. onipar says:

    No problem, AbV. I’m glad you liked my answers!

    No problem, Sury. Glad to be of service. 🙂

    And, oh hell, what the heck: No problem, Clyde! (Redundancy. Ain’t it grand.) I’ll bet you can come up with a few good things.

  5. Steve says:

    Great list Tony.

    Courage! what a good one to start your list with. I wonder how many good writers just give up because they can’t take all of rejections.

  6. onipar says:

    Thanks, Steve.

    Yeah, it’s definitely a topic I bring up a lot here, and one I think about just as much. Lately I’ve been wondering if I’m full of shit. 🙂

  7. Tristi Pinkston says:

    Hi Onipar,

    Thanks for popping in to my blog. Good to meet you.

    I’m fascinated by your inclusion of “literary sensibility” on your list and very curious how you work that in to darker literature. I don’t read much darker literature (scares the bejeebies out of me) but I’m intrigued by the fact that your writing isn’t just scary, but literary as well. Rock on!

  8. Andrea says:

    Great list, Tony!

    I was tagged for this one. Sooner or later, I’ll have time to do it.

  9. onipar says:

    Hey, Tristi.

    No problem. I love checking out different blogs when I can.

    Thanks Andrea. Looking forward to your list.

  10. Anita Marie says:

    Anita’s Brag List:

    I can come up with characters that people like -which is funny because that scares me. I mean, most of my characters are bonkers.

    I pick out cool names.

    Most of the time there are grains of truth in my stories but I won’t say so…I say its ALL true ( just kidding…maybe )

    I’ve always wanted to be a story teller. I made up my mind a very long time ago that no one is going to stop me from doing that. Not even myself.

    And last on the list…when I write I eat PEZ candy – what’s that got to do with writing?

    Nothing.

    I just like PEZ.

    Hey there Tony!

    anita marie

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