Authorly Bucket List Tag

12:45 PM Gemma Fitz 8 Comments

I like graphics, so I made my own for this tag. I hope no one minds.
Ashley@[insert title here] did not tag me for this lovely tag, but I have her permission to steal it, so I'm doing it anyway. (And you should check out her post, because she is lovely and she also had some great ideas.)

The deal is to list 3 to 7 seven things in writing that you're really bad at, and another 3 to 7 that you'd like to try. Nice and simple.

So here we go!

All the things I'm bad at:

Female Characters

Sorry if that sounded politically incorrect, but it's true. I'm really, really bad at writing girl characters.

I hate "Strong Female Character" stereotypes, and avoid them like the plague, but I also hate really weak, sobby characters, and obnoxious, loud-mouthed characters, and giggly, girly characters, and mysterious femme fatale characters and basically I hate all the stereotypes. So I try to stay away from all the stereotypes, but I shy away too far, and then I end up with a character who is kind of goopy and undefined and really, really hard to get to know because she can't make up her mind whether she's giggly or shy or obnoxious or tough and I end up really hating her.

Which is a major problem when she's my main character.


I not a big setting person. I get obsessed with characters and plot twists and feels and interesting stuff like that and I usually couldn't care less about the setting and world of the story (unless it's set in Virginia).

But obviously setting is important, and I can't just neglect it because other things are more interesting. I have to describe it some, and make it come to life, and do all the important world building stuff in spite of the unfortunate fact that it bores me to tears and I honestly don't know how to do it any way.

And setting is so hard because I also really suck at...

Description in General

I don't notice things. I'm not at all detail oriented. I kind of wander around the world in a sort of blur, receiving only a vague impression of the way things look and sound and feel. When I'm just living everyday life, my perspective on the world seems clear and concrete, but the moment I realize I have to describe something, in detail, I go into a state of panic and writhe in agony on the living room couch.

How am I supposed to describe what a tree looks like when I can't remember? How am I supposed to describe a face when, for Pete's sake, it's just a face, with eyes and a nose and a mouth and hair on top of it and a neck below it and ears on either side-- just the same sort of face everyone else has, only maybe pretty, or ugly, or something vague and generic like that?

Things are things. That's all. How am I supposed to describe them?


I don't even want to talk about this, it hurts too much.

But seriously, I know the words I've got down aren't right, but I don't know what words are right. I once heard someone say, slightly sarcastically, about editing, "If I could do any better, I would have done it the first time round," and while I know it's not completely true, it sure feels like it sometimes.

Basically, editing makes me want to collapse in a heap and forget about writing altogether. And thinking of editing kinda does the same thing, so let's move on.


I really hate research.

It wastes so much time, most of the stuff you have to research is intensely boring, all the articles you can find on it are super confusing, and sometimes you can't find the answers to your questions anyway, and have to get resourceful.

--like the time I had to cut the bottoms out of cardboard boxes and talk my 10 year old sister into crawling through them, to find out if the protagonist in my WIP would fit through a very small window. It was complicated and time consuming.

Let me say it again, I hate research. And that translates to me being bad at it.

All the things I'd love to try:

Psychological Thrillers

Brainy plot twists, mental disorders, dark secrets, mad geniuses-- it just sounds so fun. I'd love to experiment with this genre, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

ALL the POVs and tenses

I've done first person, third person limited, third person omniscient (forever ago, and then ditched it because it sucked) all in past tense, as well variety of others in short stories, but there are so many POVs and tenses that my fingers just itch to play with and twist and eventually throw in the garbage because they didn't work.

Second person future, anyone? First person plural, past tense? The possibilities dazzle.

Martial Arts

I don't do martial arts, which is the main reason I haven't done anything with them in my stories, but I'd love to write something with characters who do Kung Fu or Karate or Taekwondo or Jujutsu or even Savate. It's something that fascinates me and I've always wanted to do myself and it's just super, super cool to research (and that's coming from someone who has already mentioned she hates research).

Foreign countries, modern times

In particular, I've been wanting to set a novel somewhere in the Middle East, Mongolia, or the Baltics. Or preferably, three novels, one in each location. I hate historical fiction, so they would all be set in the modern day, which could actually be intensely cool-- I mean, a contemporary YA in Saudi Arabia? I want to write it so bad!! But, I'm not quite ready to commit to that level of research.

Stories in verse

I probably couldn't pull off an entire novel like this, but maybe a novella? If you still call something a novella when it's completely made up of poetry. Anyway, I love writing poetry, and writing novels, and I would love to try and combine the two.
Don't even ask.
I'm not sure whether I'm technically allowed to tag people for a tag I stole but I will anyway because why not. As always, if I tag you and you don't want to do it, feel free not to. If I don't tag you and you would like to do it, help yourself and I'll look the other way (actually, no, I'll go read your post, if you share the link).

I tag AimeeA.M.Gabrielle, and Lily because I'm stuck in a rut and can never think of anyone to tag.

So, now that I've humiliated myself, it's your turn!! What's something writing related that you're really bad at? Or, if you prefer, something you've always wanted to try?


  1. You did the tag! That is awesome! (Thanks for the shoutout by of way.)

    I understand what you mean about female characters. There are so many stereotypes out there and they just make me sick. It doesn't help that all the stereotypes are flat and lifeless and nothing like reality.

    So I really, really like editing. And I used to despise first drafts.

    Psychological thrillers sound so awesome! I don't read many aside from those by Steven James. But I love them. It's fascinating. You should do it!

    Also, foreign countries in modern times sounds cool too. What if you traveled to a foreign country as research? That would be the best thing ever! And it'd save you half of the googling you would otherwise probably do (or that's how I'd go about it. . .).

    I like the idea of stories in verse. I write fantasy, so sometimes I throw in a ballad or song for cultural/historical purposes (one of my favorite things about fantasy books). But a whole book in verse sounds even better! You should do that too. :D

    1. Yes, I did the tag!! It took me a while, but it's here now!

      Exactly! But if I avoid the stereotypes completely, then my characters STILL fall flat. I guess I should twist them, not just avoid them? Hmm... I think I'll try that. You like editing? That's awesome, but how do you do it? I just don't understand how editing works or what I'm supposed to do, so I totally freak out. o_o

      I haven't read Steven James-- I shall have to look into him. And I would LOVE to travel to foreign countries to research!! Unfortunately, I'm rather broke, and I have to save up for college, so it's not a realistic goal right now-- BUT SOMEDAY!!! I should do all the things. *nods*

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Female characters are really hard for me too. Maybe it's because a lot of the girls I've known /have/ been kind of flat and boring and didn't seem to have anything going on with their lives (maybe also the reason I've had so much trouble making friends?). There are definitely fun and wonderful girls out there, but they seem to be exceptions. Jane and Darcy from the Thor movies were awesome. Not stereotyped and they felt like real people.

    Thanks for tagging me! This sounds like fun. :D

    1. Yeah, a lot of girls aren't that interesting, sadly. Not that most of the guys I know are either, though. xD Yes, both Jane and Darcy were amazingly characterized. So far from the stereotypes, so different from each other, and yet both spot on girls and totally real people.

      You're welcome! Have fun with it!

  3. I can relate to your description problem. I'll have a thought about something and it'll be all deep and poetic and lovely, and then I'll try to say it only to realize that everything was lost in translation. Or just seriously jumbled up. Basically, my brain works, but not with my mouth or my hands (in the case of writing).
    I can also relate to your setting problem... I might be writing super awesome characters and my plot might be coming on epically and then I'll remember that I have a whole world to build around all of this and then I get all intimidated and cry inside and shove the thing away.

    Aanyyway. As for things I'd like to try, I really want to try to write a trilogy. I don't actually know why, I just realized one day that I really like trilogies and then decided I want to write one. (Obviously I have this thing all figured out.) I also want to write a medieval/fairytale book with actual knights and castles and all that good stuff because I haven't gotten into writing about any of that yet and I really want to!

    1. Ah yes-- I always think out the perfect thing to write and then I realize I don't have the right words to say it. It's the weirdest feeling. My hand-eye coordination is the worst-- in writing and everything else. xD Setting is SO intimidating. It scares the life out of me.

      Ooh, yes. Trilogies are quite wonderful. I've never written one, but I did consider for a while there making my five book series into a three book series. In the end I decided it wouldn't work, but trilogies are still awesome. And I haven't done much medieval, but knights and castles and all that stuff is so cool.

      Thanks for commenting!!

  4. This is so fun! I'll definitely get to it soon. I, too, have trouble with descriptions...


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