Hmm. I don’t know for sure what my strongest writing skill is–given how difficult it is to be objective about this sort of thing, I don’t think I’m really qualified to point to something and say, “yes, I do that particularly well.” If I had to pick one aspect of writing that I feel most *comfortable* with, though, I think it would be dialogue.
As far as what others think my skills are, it seems to depend a lot on the story and the person critiquing it. I’ve been told that I’m good at giving quick, deft descriptions of things. I’ve also been complimented on my dialogue and voice (the latter particularly when writing in first-person). The compliment I was most flattered by was when my creative writing teacher told me (and subsequently the entire class) how impressed he was with my authority as a writer. If you don’t know what authority refers to in writing (I didn’t when he first told me this), Hilari Bell describes it as, “…prose that displays enough skill, professionalism and polish that it convinces the reader that the author knows what he’s doing. The reader (subconsciously) takes in the easy grace of the sentences and says, ‘This person can tell me a story! I’ll trust him enough to suspend my disbelief and give him a chance.'”
At any rate, the point is that I’m still trying to figure out what mine is too…but I’m guessing that it’s one of the above. 🙂