I snagged this questionnaire off one of my favorite blogs, because I didn’t have a post idea and I hadn’t posted for a while, and this thingy looked like fun. (Yes, I just said ‘thingy’. I’m tired right now.) If you want to sneak away with it too, be my guest. Right now, I’m feeling too meh to really care if you answer these questions or print out the list and eat it or whatever.
1. How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’? Well, I’m not sure when exactly I started writing my little, plagiarized stories (I could look it up if I had enough energy to go down to my room and find the writing diary I kept in The Early Days) but it was probably sometime around my thirteenth birthday. Those were the days. I didn’t know anything about characterization or plot or dialogue, so I just scribbled down tales, blissfully happy in my supposed genius. Now writing is much more work (but I still enjoy it). I probably officially considered myself a writer when I won NaNoWriMo for the first time, in 2013. Or when I finished my first novel (which was either in 2012 or 2013). Either way, I definitely consider myself a writer now.
2. How/why did you start writing? Jane Austen. I started writing because I adored Jane Austen’s books and I wanted to replicate them. I’ve branched out now, and I don’t write Regency romances anymore, but Jane Austen’s novels were what got me started on the path in the first place, and I’ll always be immensely grateful to her for that. As for the ‘how’ of the question…I sharpened my pencil, got down a notebook that I’d bought from the dollar store, and wrote until my hand cramped up. I felt very satisfied when I stopped and saw how much I’d already written.
3. What’s your favourite part of writing? Hmmm. This is hard. I like getting ideas. I like the rush of thoughts and bits of inspiration that pour in whenever I get a brand-new idea. I whip out my little black moleskine notebook and write everything down just as fast as it comes to me, and even though I usually end up using less than half of whatever I write, it’s still a great feeling. Very writer-ish. I also enjoy being able to use the writing skills that I’ve honed somewhat for writing fan-fiction. A friend of mine recently said that the writing in a certain fan-fic of mine was ‘a cut above the average fan-fiction’, which made me very happy. (Not to be proud, or anything…)
4. What’s your biggest writing struggle? Dialogue. I recently realized that most dialogue (for original works and fan-fiction both) tends to be more than a little patchy, and it’s very frustrating at times. I want my characters to sound like real people, not book characters.
5. Do you write best at night or day? Most (if not all) of my writing is done in the morning, and I haven’t really tried much writing at night, so I’d have to say I write best during the day. I usually get an hour in the morning to write, and if it’s a good day, I can churn out as much as 2,000 words. (Usually less when I’m writing fan-fiction, because I like the quality to be excellent, even for a first draft. With my original work, I take a more relaxed view of things, mainly because I won’t have an angry fandom on me if I don’t get it perfect right away.)
6. What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!) Eh. I don’t really have a writing space, per se. I just write at the kitchen desk, which is usually very messy and doesn’t have any personal touches from me. If/when I get my own laptop, I’ll probably make my desk into a writing space, and if I do, I’ll share pictures on this blog. I have it all worked out in my head, actually. All that’s needed is a laptop.
7. How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft? Depends. I don’t really have a set writing goal, time-wise. I tend to mosey along, writing bursts of words every day and letting the draft be as long or as short as the story dictates. I’ve been working on Project Remembrance for five months and it’s nowhere near being finished. On the other hand, I wrote three complete first drafts (the Vengeance Is Mine trilogy) in just two or three months, I believe. I’m not pushing to get things done in a set amount of time.
8. How many projects do you work on at once? Again, it depends. Right now, I’m working on PR, a piece of Combat! fan-fiction, mulling through ideas for a potential To Kill A Mockingbird fan-fiction, and thinking about writing a bit of a story centered around this picture. Usually, I write one thing, while ideas for several others are going around in my head. Things are never dull up in my brain, that’s for sure.
9. Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between? Bittersweet, so I guess that’s somewhere in between.
10. List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey. Well, as I mentioned above, Jane Austen got me ‘into’ writing, but Jack Cavanaugh’s books sort of continued my writing. I was absolutely blown away by how he wove plot and characters and dialogue together into a (usually) historical tapestry, and I think that’s why my first book was set in medieval times (sort of). My favorite book of his is set in Medieval England, anyway. There’ve been a bunch of other authors who’ve wowed me, but listing them would take forever. Suzanne Collins, Markus Zusak, Charles Dickens, Shannon Hale, Laura Hillenbrand, Ted Bell…
11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not? I let people read my writing sometimes, mainly if it’s a short story or fan-fiction (and most of the people who end up reading my work are beta-readers), but my full length novels are languishing in a dusty file because they need huge revisions and I’d be embarrassed to show them to anyone. I’m quite proud of PR, though, and I generally let Jane and Ashley read whatever they want of my stuff.
12. What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream? Um…I haven’t really thought too much about it, actually. All of the usual things seem so cliched – getting a book published, becoming a best-selling author, making a living out of writing books, etc, etc. I guess my dream would be to publish Project Remembrance someday. And be able to send fan-fiction off to beta-readers without cringing and hoping they won’t find it too horrible.
13. If you didn’t write, what would you want to do? Read. That’s about the only thing I do these days, besides writing. (Oh, and eating. Can’t forget that.)
14. Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet? Um…I’m not sure. I don’t thiiiink so.
15. Which story has your heart and won’t let go? I’m very partial to all my Combat! fan-fiction, of course, and as for ‘original’ stories, it would have to be Betrayal, which I haven’t visited in a long time, but is still very much in my thoughts. It’s very personal to me, for several reasons, and I AM going to return to it one of these days. Pinkie-promise.