I haven’t done one of these in a long time, and I stumbled across this on another writer’s blog. I saved it for a day when inspiration wasn’t coming as easily – yes, that’s today.
So here is my version of the writer’s meme. (oh and if you decide to do it, please leave me a comment with a link so I can come visit yours, and if you’ve done it already and you know the link, leave that too. Would love to read your answers.)
What’s the last thing you wrote?
The last thing I wrote, other than a blog entry, was about 500 (take or give a few) words on a current WIP. Yesterday, while spending some time cleaning, I had an inspiration hit and my characters decided to try a new direction. It worked, and I’m on a roll at this point.
Was it any good?
I really think it is. I went back and re-read it again, and sometimes I surprise myself. I think this will be a perfect twist to the story.
What’s the first thing you ever wrote that you still have?
The first thing I wrote, that I still have would probably be my poems. I began writing them at age 6, but the oldest one I can find was when I was 10. I have letters and two essays I wrote in about 2nd or 3rd grade to and about, my mom – I guess those count. When I moved out, my mom got rid of everything in my room – toys, books, clothes, etc. I am so blessed that these were kept around in her desk and she didn’t find them until I was already a mom, and she knew I’d want them back. I also have an awesome portfolio from my 10th grade creative writing class filled with fiction, non-fiction and a few very, very short essays and poems. Very cool to have – its all bound in a folder and I love it.
I used to, much more than I do now. When inspiration strikes, or I feel especially emotional, sometimes it helps – but more often than not, I turn to writing on my WIPs.
That’s about all I wrote during my teenage years and I have it all. Sometimes it depresses me to go back and read it, sometimes it makes me laugh. I’m glad I have it and wrote it though.
Favorite genre of writing?
My favorite genre of writing is probably YA if I’m writing it. I also am getting into romance, but haven’t ventured too far into the “trashy” side – which are fun to read, so I figured they must be fun to write… right?
For reading purposes my genre’s are wide – I especially like mysteries, crime and general fiction.
Most fun character you ever wrote?
This probably has to be the antagonist in my current YA WIP. Bran Byrne, who is introduced a bit later than normal in the story. I just love him. He’s cute, sensitive and funny, however he has a little streak that is tested time and time again, causing him to get a little out of sorts from his ‘normal’ self. By nature, I am drawn to him because he is a make up of several people I know (both female and male) and he stole my heart from the moment I wrote him on the page. He’s lovable with plenty of endearing flaws.
Most annoying character you ever wrote?
Jacob Strong who winds up being the main male character in a WIP that is almost complete, has wound up being the most annoying. He has traits and personality issues, which make him annoying, but aside from that – he has changed my direction of the story so many times, I find him frustrating and annoying. Plus, he’s too whiny sometimes.
Best plot you’ve ever created?
I don’t even know if I can answer this. I guess it would be my current YA novel, about a girl who’s parents died and she is thrown into a whole new world, living with family she doesn’t know, in a country she hasn’t visited since she was about 5. Her life takes all kinds of twists and turns, and while it is the most original plot, it has been the easiest to write (and the most fun to research!)
Coolest plot twist you’ve ever created?
This is in a WIP I did for NaNo several years ago. It is complete but needs MAJOR editing. The reason it wound up being so cool, is that the book was completely normal woman’s fiction – couple seems happy, husband cheats on wife, wife finds out, they divorce, she moves away to a secluded condo by a lake and begins to restore her life. It was supposed to just be that – a story about overcoming a messy situation and learning to live about it. I wanted to bring a little religion into it, putting her into a small community church where she is welcomed with open arms. This is not where the plot went. As she was going to bed one night, she was closing the curtains and she sees an image down by the lake. I won’t go into more details, but she begins having visions, seeing apparitions, etc. I had to go back and change some stuff in the original plot to make it all work together, but I did not see that going anywhere. Once she took that new direction, the story just flowed – that was definitely cool!
How often do you get writer’s block?
I don’t believe in writer’s block per say. Yes, I know I write about it. Mostly, I see it as a lack of inspiration, writing yourself into a corner, or just a bad day. We all have them. I have them occasionally – once a month or so.
How do you fix it?
When I am having a difficult time, I either pop open a different WIP and either write or revise, go for a walk, take my laptop outside or to the coffee house for a change of scenery, or do a non-stop free write – which is when you just start writing, and write everything that pops into your mind, no matter what. Helps to clear your mind, and you can get the things that you are thinking about down on paper, so you can go back and work on the piece you were stuck on.
Write fan fiction?
Not really, no. I mean, I guess I have borrowed a plot idea from somewhere before, or a character here and there, but I never really fall in love with the story that way. I don’t write actual fan fiction, no.
Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?
Yes. This seems to be where I am at right now. I have done a stint with mystery and crime, then I worked on general woman’s fiction and now I seem to just be caught up in teen drama (probably has nothing to do with the fact that I have 5 kids (11-16) haha. I am just getting interested in romance, but it hasn’t completely pulled me in just yet.
Do you type or write by hand?
I use my laptop(s) for all of my actual writing. Occasionally when inspiration strikes and I’m on the go, I am more apt to pull out my iPod now, rather than pen and paper. I do occasionally jot ideas down on index cards or in a mini-notebook I have with me. I rarely use these though.
Do you save everything you write?
Absolutely. There is no question. Every article, idea, essay, short story, poem, etc. I have since I was about 16.
Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?
I have before, resurrected a storyline, character or plot after they have been abandoned. I don’t do it very often, but I have borrowed dialogue from some abandoned projects and ideas.
What’s your favorite thing that you’ve written?
This is hard. I don’t know that I have a favorite. I love the non-fiction book I have written based on my adoption and search for my birth mother – Dancing with Fireflies. But I am not sure it is my favorite thing ever written. My favorite might be the one I referred to as the coolest plot twist. Or it could be, the one I am working now which takes my character to Ireland to live. I don’t know. I am more apt to love a certain chapter than a whole piece anyway.
What’s everyone else’s favorite thing that you’ve written?
I don’t show most of my work to anyone, unless I am revising and I am worried about a chapter or two flowing together or unless it is absolutely complete. I have a feeling that my current WIP will wind up being a favorite, since the couple of chapters I have passed around, have heard “I want to read more.” more times than not. Usually people’s favorite things are the short stories I wrote in college. I almost always hear “I want to read more about them”. I guess this is good, I am making my characters likable. Right?
I’ve tossed around the idea of taking a few of those short stories and telling the whole story.
What’s your favorite setting for your characters?
Seems to be nature. Lakeside, beach side, creek side, countryside, traveling to another country and visiting landmarks and seeing what nature has to offer. I don’t really know why. I have also noted a theme throughout every single fictional piece – small town. No idea why. I love writing local places into my novels as well.
What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will?
I strongly believe in ‘Never Say Never’ however… Science Fiction and Fantasy are two genre’s I just don’t see myself delving into very far.
How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Just two fiction novels currently. But I have plenty of WIPs in reserve to finish or edit/revise. If you consider article writing a writing project (I do) then I have two that I devote some time to every week.
Do you want to write for a living?
Absolutely. In ways, I already am. I work at home and my main income is from article writing. I would really rather be devoting ALL time to novel writing, but that will come in time.
Have you ever written something for a magazine or newspaper?
Yes, several local small publications, news magazines and newspapers. I was asked by a national scrapbooking magazine to write a piece, and I turned it down about 5 years ago. I was in an unstable place and trust me, now I kick myself for it.
Have you ever won an award for your writing?
Well, sort of. I have worked for several websites, writing freelance articles. I have won several awards through those sites, based on my content.
Ever written something in script or play format?
I tried Script Frenzy. Wrote something that resembled a script, and realized that script writing is definitely not my thing. I will use the plot for a novel I write later.
What are your five favorite words?
obfuscate, serendipity, inevitable, Sesquipedalian, languor (I have dozens that come very close in competing with these, but these are definitely a few favorites)
I also have a fondness for fun to say location words: Mesopotamia, Guantanamo Bay, Bangladesh, Djibouti, you get the picture. (yes I know I am odd.)
What character that you’ve written most resembles yourself?
Emma Gallagher, who is a new friend of my female protagonist in my current YA WIP. She is probably most like me in her personality and mannerisms. We look nothing alike however. Another character, Claire Devlin from a completely different WIP for women, is by far the one that looks most like me but personality and mannerisms are different.
Where do you get ideas for your other characters?
Most of the time, they just develop over time in my mind. Sometimes I will hear someone say something funny/sarcastic/silly/sad/emotional/etc. and create a whole character based off the one comment and how they react to situations.
Do you ever write based on your dreams?
Not typically, but I have inserted a few storylines that were inspired by dreams.
Do you favor happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers?
It depends on the novel. I have definitely written a few cliff hangers, hoping that the novel would be picked up as a series. However, I definitely tend to favor happy endings, or at least “lesson learned” / “life goes on” / “change is good”, type of endings. I don’t end in a sad ending ever. Save that for in between.
Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Not at first, no. I am a bit of a perfectionist though, and when I see a spelling error, I cannot move forward until I fix it. This does save some time during revision though.
Does music help you write?
Always. I put together entire playlists for the WIP I am writing. I am also known to turn the music up so loud it is difficult to even think and write. I have written some amazing stuff that way. I only do that occasionally though.
Quote something you’ve written. The first thing to pop into your mind.
One of my favorite extremely short pieces I wrote completely on a whim, is . I didn’t even use it in a story. I wrote it to get inside my characters head.
Please leave a link to your own. I am always interested in what others are doing.