I have two strenghts in my writing: dialog and action. Description, not so much. I write genre, so plot isn't a problem once I figure it out; but action and dialog are the tops in my talent pool - as limited as it is. I had an instructor who told me that we all write to our strengths after telling me how good my dialog was. Now she is incredibly flakey, and as someone else pointed out, absolutely nuts; but she is also very smart when it comes to writing fiction - she consistently presented some of the most thought provoking and intellectual seminars at Stonecoast - so her observations were usually right on. (However, she wasn't as widely read in most popular fiction genres. Genre writers in MFA programs who get mixed in with the general population need to develop the skills to weed out the great writing advice from the usual prejudices toward pop fic.)
I also had an agent tell me that I write terrific action (and this was a few days after he had dinner with Lee Child), but again, the agent didn't represent genre fiction - as to why he was reading my creative thesis, well that's a long story - so, his observation was taken with a few grains of salt. He also suggested my main character needed a unique feature like running an antique shop or work as a chef - great ideas if I wrote cozies, but the novel is heavy on dark emotions and violence. I don't know too many antique dealers who routinely shoot people.
Where was I? Strengths. I'm guilty of leaning on what I do best. First drafts are dialog heavy, but a lot of crime fiction tends to be conversation heavy anyway. There is also some pretty good action, which for some reason I have to write in the present tense and then edit back to past tense (if that's what I'm using in the rest of the story). Again, a lot of crime fiction has plenty of action, so I'm not incredinly worried. But I have a goddamn MFA degree, which means I should be a little better with the whole prose thing, description, etc. when I write my first drafts - but the initial writing usually sucks. Now, I know from Anne Lamott that first drafts are usually the shit drafts, but mine are very shitty indeed. I actual put notes in my writing like "add some description here" or "better prose needed" rather than take the time to do it right then.
So, why is this on my mind? Well, I'm avoiding my current story and have made the mistake of taking a break to think about it. The entire thing is mostly dialog with a few stage directions - I haven't even gotten to any action. But once the time comes for the second draft, I should be in a better place, but I do hate re-writes. I really really do; even though I'll go over drafts at least a dozen times. To me, it's the second hardest part of being a writer - the first thing is actually getting started. But I guess I'll use my lopsided talents as crutches to get through this draft - even if the damn thing will take me the rest of the summer. Oh well.