I’ll make it easy, I’ll go first.
I know right? An aspiring author who counts spelling and grammar among her biggest flaws? Why not just give up now? Well let me tell you it’s something I struggle with every day, and for a long time kept me from even wanting to attempt sharing my story with the world. This is one thing I can point to and know with out of doubt in my mind that bad schooling led to this. I don’t know what it was but I could never spell. Each week we had a new list of words we had to learn and at the end of the week we had a spelling test, and I would write out the words (what felt like) hundreds of times, be quizzed by my parents, nothing helped. And I remember ever so clearly my teacher passing back yet another test I did poorly on and patting me on the shoulder as I held back tears (failing never suited me well) and telling me “Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world, now they have computer that fix that sort of thing for you.” And went on her merry way. But in my 8-9 year old mind it was like a cloud had been lifted, there where blue sky’s ahead! I never had a thought to work at it ever again, and somehow the teachers in my life just let it slide and it wasn’t until late in high school when I figured out how much I was held back by my self-made handicap.
But I think knowing the problem is half the battle. I know that when I finish my WIP that I will have to have some very patient friends comb over it and help me out before I send off my quarry letters.
Now I can speak at length in real life, I can hold hours of conversation without blinking an eye. Why is it so hard for me to make my characters talk to each other? Hell even their inner monologues are fine, but their outer ones? They always feel flat to me. Cheesy. Very much:
“I like cheese.”
“Cheese is good.”
“Swiss is my favorite.”
I mean what the hell? My characters can think coherent thoughts but the moment the words need to come out of their mouths? Nothing. It is super frustrating. But luckily I have my writer’s night girls who help me through the major kinks.
I have a few other minor ones (like fight scenes, how in the hell am I supposed to make my MC move naturally? Why can't I just have her punch everyone in the face and light everyone on fire and win? If I got punched in the face and lit on fire I would just give up.) but those are the big two. The two that I truly have to put my nose to the grind stone and not matter what just “make it work.” Because if I want to be published then I have no other choice.