As part of Cait and Sky’s Beautiful People monthly meme, this month we’re looking at – gulp! – the authors. So, me…
- How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’?
Hum, I guess I officially considered myself a writer when I finished my first longer-than-short-story piece of work, aged thirteen. However, I was writing creatively long before that…regardless of how poor those pieces were. (Let’s not mention the Bug’s Life fanfiction…)
- How/why did you start writing?
I started writing longer projects when inspired by a murder mystery game at school. I didn’t intend to do anything more with my inspiration until I went on holiday later that year and narrated what had happened to one of the other girls on the trip. She suggested I write it down, and, as we all say, the rest is history.
Of course, it’s more complicated than that. I devised a plot, started writing in the back of my notebooks, and pressed on with this story. It wasn’t the greatest of things, but it got me started writing bigger things, even if it is dependent on genre and the plot itself. Some move forward, some stop me at their posts.
- What’s your favourite part of writing?
When things come together. I like that 3/4s part of the story where I can see the end in sight, but still have the writing coming, the good part, the finale, the fight-scene.
- What’s your biggest writing struggle?
Motivation. It’s so easy to lose track of one’s thoughts and plans and never get on with anything. Sometimes, it will be the smallest of things, and I just cannot write, but not from lack of want or plan. I just don’t have the enthusiasm.
- Do you write best at night or day?
I…don’t know. Sometimes, I wake up full of vitality and go on to do my best writing in the morning when I am ready for the day and wide-eyed, and in my evening, I hit 10 or 11 and can barely concentrate on just waking moments; other times, I write better in the evenings when I can have some tv show on in the background (to wipe out the white noise from my mind), but my mornings are disengaged and the show is me. Yes, the same is true of the afternoon.
So, it depends. On my mood, on how I’ve slept the previous night, on the genre or even the scene! It depends.
- What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!)
My writing space is in that good place between neat and messy. Stationary to my left, books on the floor to my right; my laptop perched on the desk just at the right height (my chair extended to its highest).
Aww, yeahh, pictures!
Why, yes, that is the linkup you see.
- How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?
Honestly? It depends on the draft. My contemporary romance has been on the burner, since August-ish, and it’s still only about 20-thousand. However, I know it is possibly for me to write 60-thousand in a single month (NaNo, anyone? 🙂 ) – that was my alt-history fantasy. On the SFF front, I have ideas and can write quite quickly; with contemporaries, I need to think.
- How many projects do you work on at once?
I’m terrible. About three. I’m probably writing a first draft of one thing, whilst considering how to rewrite a middle-draft of something else (even just in my head in the middle of a lecture), and, knowing me, I’ll be polishing another work in the meanwhile. Besides, querying makes the writer divide their attention to something new.
- Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between?
I prefer happy endings, but that doesn’t mean I don’t write sad ones – or, rather, ones in between. I like resolved endings, and whilst I understand that sad ones are not unresolved, there is something about happy endings that make me feel more satisfied with my writing. Though, the ones with the hint of mystery – the will-it-end-won’t-it – are the most fun to write, even though they might frustrate the reader the most.
- List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey.
Agatha Christie; Lewis Carroll; Caroline Lawrence; Samantha Shannon
- Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?
Me first reaction was:
Writing, especially the first few drafts, is way too close and messy to share. But, actually, my boyfriend is reading the second draft of my most-recently-completed (ie. last July) manuscript, steampunk Horology – and I do like to have Betas on hand. In fact, I’m always looking for new readers, but there’s a catch. They probably can’t be people I know in real life, who I’ll see on a frequent basis whilst they’re reading the manuscript. I just know they’re judging me inside.
Chalk that up to my shyness and social phobia.
- What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream?
I mean, it would be great to be published and acclaimed.
- If you didn’t write, what would you want to do?
Compose music. Not in an official way – I’d probably still be studying Psychology and Philosophy in the way I do with writing as my creative career, but I ultimately gave up writing music&lyrics, recording, and videoing, because it took up too much of my writing time. I was lazy. Writing was easier.
- Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet?
Lots and lots, I suppose. Partly, due to academic time-constraints I feel I can’t take on a project without giving it my all. Specifics…the ends of my trilogies. I’ve started them both, but written very little of either. I think it’s partly because I don’t want to let either of the star characters or the overall plot go, but also because I’m not ready to attempt to write such continuations when new incarnations of stories are bothering me.
- Which story has your heart and won’t let go?
The Agnetha King Mysteries Trilogy. Okay, that’s three books, but, all in all, it’s one story of Agnetha as she grows up and finds her passions and pains and solves a few murders along the way. It counts as the first book I wrote even if that was a novella rather than the novel thirteen-year-old me thought it was, but before then, I’d only completed beginnings, and short stories, and playscripts.
Nevertheless, Agnetha’s character is one of my favourites and she’s stuck with me, despite trunking various drafts at various times in my life. Her first book, now on its 7th draft, is probably the best of my YA works in terms of voice and relatability.
I have no idea who that character is, but she’s blonde, curly, and crying over characters. ‘Nuff said.
So, that was me. What about you? Got any interesting stories about how you started writing? Have any of your stories clung to you? And, scientifically, do you write better during the day or night – or neither?