Thursday, June 28, 2007

Random Things About Me as a Writer

I stole and modified this meme from Thomma!

  1. I wrote my first book when I was six. It was a guide to flowers, lovingly illustrated with crayons on manilla paper and professionally bound using my very own “tot” stapler.
  2. I wrote my second book when I was in sixth grade. It was a rambling, mostly plotless space epic. Hey, space stories were “in” back then!
  3. The first book I really think of as my “first” is one I wrote while I was in grad school. There’s something about statistics class that makes my brain flee to creativity as a self-defense measure, in rather the same way an animal will gnaw off its own foot to get out of a trap. I outlined my novel in stats class and actually saw it through to completion. It was based on the people I met and experiences I had working in the restaurant/nightclub business. It’s a fun story, but so badly written I can hardly stand to read it now.
  4. I like writing “long.” Forcing myself to write anything under 5,000 words is a challenge.
  5. I hate writing poetry, although I sometimes wonder if I should force myself to practice it, since it might make my prose better.
  6. Characters and dialogue come easy for me. Plot less so.
  7. I like editing. When I’m having trouble moving forward in a story, going back and editing the last few paragraphs often helps put me on track.
  8. I like to use a plot outline. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, and I never end up following it exactly, but if I have no outline at all, my plot will wander and go nowhere at all.
  9. I don’t use character charts or character trait lists, except very occasionally for minor characters. My main characters never need them—they’re too busy telling me about themselves.
  10. I mostly write late at night. I like the time after Dan has gone to bed and the critters are settled in. The world is quiet. I know no one is going to interrupt me, and I can immerse myself in the story.
  11. I love those times when my characters start doing things on their own. It feels like I’m watching a movie in my head and just writing down what I see and hear. Only fellow writers seem to understand this.
  12. I get my best writing ideas in boring situations, like meetings and classes.
  13. I’ve been writing stories based in a dystopian American Southwest for several years now.
  14. My character Diana has her own web presence. She will answer questions on “her” blogs, if she knows the answers.
  15. I have a new blog fiction idea that would be in a contemporary setting and have a lot of “extras,” such as video, artwork, podcasts, etc. But I can’t do it alone and right now my partner on this project (read: husband) is dragging his feet.
  16. More than anything, I like sharing what I write. Posting things on my blog and illustrating them is oddly satisfying.


Anonymous said...

Wow, bunnygirl, we've sure got a lot in common! I stapled the stories I wrote when I was a little kid, too.

Like you, I like writing "long", and characters and dialogue are easy for me while plot is more of a challenge.

I have been pretty "pantsy" with past novels, except for my novella, for which I used a plot outline. I am now formulating a plot outline for my current WIP, mainly to keep climbing out of the writing slump I've been in and out of lately.

And ohhhh, writing late at night is the best! I like times when I know I won't be interrupted. It is SO hard to write fiction with consistent interruptions, even small ones!

I, too, love those times when characters start doing things on their own. I call those times my "rockin' and rollin'" times as a writer, when I get to sit back, watch the characters and listen to them, take notes, then write what I see and hear.

Thanks for a great post! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

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Michael said...

Interesting ... what a nice post, bunnygirl. I didn't actually do a whole "book" until I was 12, and then it was a comic book. Weird stuff, too, but I like to think that's my standard fare.

I find it kind of funny that you and Thomma like writing "long" but have more trouble with plot than with characters. In college I learned that the short form is supposed to concentrate on character development and incorporate only a simple plot.

I do find plot development challenging, but that might be because I'm trying very hard to twist and stretch the conventions as far as I can and still have something that's recognizably fantasy (and readable). I don't know if I'm succeeding in that endeavor or not - hopefully time will tell.

On the other hand, I really struggle with characters and dialogue. Sometimes the dialogue seems to flow beautifully, but often it comes off stilted or worse. Well, I try, anyway.

Since I'm a night owl, I usually do just about everything at night anyway ... but, oh, Thomma, I get really annoyed with all those interruptions myself. Right now, for instance, my son keeps wanting to help him play a video game ... Urrgh!

Anyway, I enjoyed your post and I hope to be around more often ...

Alice Audrey said...

You started even earlier than I did. I was 13 when I started a mystery novel.