Writing is such a unique journey for each and every writer. Some may find it easy to meld their chapters one into another, while others find it easy to get just the right ending, coming up with some kind of twist or surprise that gives the story a memorable and satisfying end. Other writers may find it easy to jump right into a story and write a grab-the-reader beginning. And, there are other aspects of writing a story that some authors may breeze though effortlessly, such as creating an engaging setting, or creating life-like characters.

On the flip side, every writer has her writing weaknesses.

I find it relatively easy to start a story, creating a beginning that jumps into the action, which is what most stories, especially children’s stories need. But, my difficulty is in finding a satisfactory ending to a story. Starting it and bringing it along toward an ending is relatively easy. But, then it fizzles out. My endings are initially weak and definitely lacking.

While I noted this weakness in my writing, it didn’t really hit home until I submitted a manuscript to a children’s publisher. I pitched the story to the publisher during the Muse Online Writers Conference in October 2009. The publisher allowed me to submit a synopsis and the first three chapters.

The editor who read the chapters and synopsis liked the storyline, but was confused by the ending in the synopsis. Aside from that, the editor recommended the publisher request the manuscript so they could look it over. They requested that the manuscript first be edited and given a better ending. Obviously, I did what they asked, it was edited and I created an entirely new ending. The revised and edited manuscript was accepted.

This story must sound familiar to a number of authors. You are put up against the wall; you have to overcome your writing weaknesses and somehow are able to come up with what’s needed. It’s funny, but there seems to be times when some form of inspiration, a muse, can take us where we don’t usually tread… that helps us overcome our obstacles or mountains. Sometimes, simply being pointed in the right direction can bring the story home.

As writers, we must pay attention to our writing weak spots and work on them. Not all editors or publishers will bother to look beyond a story’s weak points and give the author the opportunity to improve her story and resubmit. Most often, the story will be rejected.

So, what’s a writer to do?

The Bare Basics to Overcoming Your Writing Weaknesses:

  1. Make sure you’re a part of a critique group with new and experienced writers. The critique members may be able to help you over the hurdles, or provide the direction you need. At the very least, they’ll catch a number of mistakes in everything from structure to grammar you might have missed.
  2. If you have to, write a few different scenarios in the section you’re having trouble with, to help you open up. And, if you’re still having trouble with your story, put it away for at least a week, preferably more, and then go back to it. It’s almost like magic; you’ll see it differently, with a newness and awareness. And, listen when inspiration comes knocking.
  3. If nothing else works, hire a developmental editor or ghostwriter to help rewrite the sections you’re having difficulty with.

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