I don't know where I stand from a literature standpoint. I write mainly just so I can remember some ideas I came up with. Something of a "do it for me" kinda thing. Then when I go back and read over these ideas, I the problems with it technically speaking and strive to make it better.
One thing I've noticed with myself as I've grown is that before I used to really like focusing on the technical plot point. I liked more of what was happening as opposed to who it was happening to, but now those things are reversed. This is sort of in line with the TV shows and comic books I read now, too. I need to see why and how the characters react in the way they do instead of what they're reacting to. I guess that's a good thing.
I never posted so much of my work on DA (language barrier... not good with translating... etc). I did, however, learn quite a lot from just hanging around at DA's forums. Not about writing itself, but about how many more writers struggle with the same problems as I do. And that I'm not that bad at thinking up story's as I thought I was. I guess I grew some confidence over the years
If you continue to work at it, it will. Have you heard of Malcolm Gladwell, and his book Outliers? His premise is that putting 10,000 hours of practice into any skill is enough to be able to call yourself a master, in part because nobody would stick with anything for that long without seeing some sort of incremental progress along the way.
Yeah. I've heard about that theory. I've been writing ever since I was 6 years old (Yeah... weird childhood obsessions) almost every single day. And the days that I didn't have time to write, I thought up new storylines in my head. It has become sort of an idle process for my mind. Something that it does automatically when I don't have to focus on something else. I guess with that, I've made it already way over that 10.000 hours limit, a few years ago. I kinda noticed my writing style stabilizing back then. It's not that I haven't improved after that. I'm still thinking up story's and writing on a daily basis, but I don't hate my old work as much as I did years ago
So would it be fair to say that at this point, you're a master at creating and plotting out stories, and rapidly closing in on the mastery of putting actual pen to paper (or finger to keyboard, as it were)?
Or do you consider yourself to have already mastered the process, and what's left is refining your style?
Well... it's quite hard to determine for yourself whether you mastered something or not. I don't think one can judge himself so objectively. But I do know that, in the sense of storytelling and world creating, I'm at least very close. I've been talking with many people on the subject over the years, and I noticed how I can easily match up to people that are way older than I am and have created way more professional works, in that sense. As for writing itself. I feel like I'm getting close. My style still changes, but it's a matter of years, not a matter of months, like it always used to be. There are still many things I feel like I need to, and need to try, in order to see what I'm actually capable of. But I've at least found a writing style that I'm comfortable with, and that has some emotional impact on readers.