Cait at "Paper Fury" is co-hosting a linkup called "Beautiful People." Each month she announces a new set of questions to answer about your characters so you can learn more about them.
This month's topic, though, is a special edition. Instead questions about our characters, the questions are about ourselves!
1. How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’?
I've always considered myself a writer, because I've been writing for as long as I can remember. The earliest memory I have of myself writing an actual story was when I was five or six. I wrote a short story about a ball and a Frisbee who were best friends, but couldn't figure out a game they could both play since they didn't have hands. (Spoiler alert: They ended up racing each other. The Frisbee rolled and the ball bounced.)
But after watching a home video a while ago, I realized that I've been telling stories since before I could even read or write. They were very long-winded stories that didn't make a whole lot of sense, but they were stories all the same.
2. How/why did you start writing?
See #1. for "how." As for "why," I have no clue. I've always enjoyed it, and I haven't been able to stop since. There's not a single day that goes by when I don't write something, even if it's just a sentence.
3. What’s your favorite part of writing?
Being able to create something from nothing. A blank page can definitely be intimidating, but I like to look at it as magic and opportunity. All the books that have impacted our lives were once just that, a blank page. I love creating worlds and characters and all the things we love about reading with a few taps of the keyboard. It's amazing.
4. What’s your biggest writing struggle?
Editing! Copyedits and tweaking sentences so they sound perfect aren't so bad, and sometimes it's even fun, but I dread the major edits: Plot holes, cutting characters, adding characters, changing the order of when things happen so they actually make sense. It's awful.
Also query letters and writing a synopsis. But who actually enjoys writing those?
5. Do you write best at night or day?
It all depends on the day. Usually I work on my big projects during the day. At night, I'll sometimes freewrite or scribble a few paragraphs of fan-fiction. It helps me wind down before bed, and usually gives me weird dreams. Weird dreams are fantastic for story ideas. ;)
6. What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!)
|This is where I spend the majority of the day. There is usually a mug of tea or hot chocolate within reach. The whiteboard currently has a list of projects I need to finish up, along with my business card.|
|My little TARDIS and Dalek figurines keep me company.|
|I like to keep my iPod by this paper so if I'm tempted to use it for anything not writing related, it's here to remind me.|
|I printed out the "Sherlock" design and taped it over an empty can for my pens. The picture frame in the background has two of my favorite inspirational quotes about writing.|
Since I'm easily distracted, a long time. :P Some I've been working on for two years now, though inconsistently. If I'm really motivated and make myself get it done before working on anything else, maybe two months. It also depends on how long the book is. For example, I wrote little else when I was working on Flightless Birds, but since it's currently at 125,000 words (that's about 500 pages), it took me a full five months to get it done. (By the way, anyone up for being a beta reader for that one?)
8. How many projects do you work on at once?
Several. Right now I'm in the middle of six or seven books, all in different stages. It's good in some ways, because if I get bored with one I can work on the other, but that also means it takes me forever to get anything finished.
9. Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between?
It depends on the book. Usually, for middle-grade, I go for happy. But with YA I might do a somewhere in between kind of ending. I don't want my books to make readers feel depressed after finishing them, but the endings also aren't perfectly wrapped up and tied with a bow. They're hopeful, but not exactly happy.
10. List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey.
(Even though several books have influenced my writing journey, I'm only going to list the authors that have consistently delivered and inspired me time after time.)
J.K. Rowling, Rainbow Rowell, Bill Watterson, A.S. King, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and Marissa Meyer.
11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?
Absolutely! If nobody reads my writing and gives me feedback on it, how am I going to get better? Usually I only send parts of my books for critique after I've done a few rounds of edits, but my best friend sometimes gets sneak peeks.
12. What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream?
To be successful enough in my writing that I don't need another job, to inspire others to read and write, to make people smile or cry or think, to create characters that stay with people in the same way so many characters have stayed with me.
13. If you didn’t write, what would you want to do?
Figure out why I'm not writing. Then, if all else fails, I'd do something else that would engage me creatively. Maybe open a bookstore or do something with art. I also really like music, so it'd be really cool to work with artists on their music somehow. Maybe I'd work with animals, though not as a vet, probably something along the lines of working at a pet store.
14. Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet?
Well I'll probably end up writing an adult book someday, but until I'm an adult and have read more adult fiction, I don't think I can do that yet. ;)
15. Which story has your heart and won’t let go?
If we're talking about stories somebody else has written, Harry Potter, hands down. But if it's something I've written, that'd be the Fantasya series. I wrote the first two books when I was ten and eleven, and I remember having so much fun with it. I love creating the sort of world I wanted to live in, characters I would be friends with, a story I'd want to read. They both obviously need tons of work, but even if they don't go anywhere, those books are the first stories I ever felt like I'd worked magic with.
Linkup with "Paper Fury!" I want to read your posts!