Thank you once again, Jane, for tagging me in a fun writing meme! If you don’t follow her yet, go check her blog out! ‘Tis the season for Halloween, and what better way to get in the spirit than with a Hocus Pocus writing meme? If you’re a writer, I’m sure you’ve thought about these things at least once or twice in your life.
Sarah, Mary, & Winifred Sanderson: Being a witch is hard, but so is writing. If you had magical, witchy powers what aspect of writing or what part of the process would you magically skip over?
Such a hard question, because I really like all the parts of the process! But if I had to choose, it would probably be the marketing part, because…I uh…I don’t really know how to market myself.
Max and Dani: What relationships tend to be at the core of your books? Friends? Family? Romance?
My relationships tend to focus most specifically on the characters and themselves. My characters all tend to have a lot of internal problems and baggage, so most of my writing focuses on either understanding themselves better, or learning to accept themselves, the good and the bad.
Amuck, Amuck, Amuck!: How do you approach the chaos that is drafting? Are you a plotter, a pantster, or a combo of both?
I’m definitely a pantster when it comes to writing. Sometimes I outline, or write out a scene of dialogue if it’s fresh in my head, but usually I just sit down at a blank word document and let the thoughts come as I go. Yep, definitely not a planner. Because you can plan all day, but planning isn’t writing. Writing is writing. So I don’t like distracting myself with planning too much. The story that needs told knows how to tell itself, for the most part, without any preemptive efforts.
I Put a Spell on You: How do you deal with book ideas that want to pull your focus from your main WIP?
This is a huge problem I have, so I created a word document titled “ideas” where I will put all these distracting side projects. Sometimes it’s only a line, sometimes it’s whole paragraphs or scenes that have already come to me. Then I can go back in and look at them when I’m ready to transfer them to their document forever home. But if I’m being honest, I don’t just have one WIP. I have several. So most of the ideas in the “ideas” document have already started to be fleshed out. I write on ALL my ideas at one time, depending on the headspace I’m in.
Thackery Binx: Things aren’t always what they seem–Think back to when you first started writing to where you are now. How has your process transformed from then to now?
I’ve definitely improved on my writing skills. I was always pretty good with grammar, but I find that my work now has a better flow and more originality than my earlier work. Dialogue has also improved. I often got stuck in the “conversational” mode for dialogue, when it really should have been “dialogue to advance the plot”. I wrote a whole post comparing the two, here.
My Lucky Rat Tail: Do you have a writing ritual? If not, what are some of your favorite writing tools?
My writing ritual usually happens in the morning, or more often in the evening, when I have some free time to sit and commit to the craft. It usually just involves putting my hair up into a ponytail, lighting a candle, making a cup of tea or snack, and sitting in my bed, buried under a hundred blankets. And as far as writing tools go, all I really use is Microsoft Word and occasionally a pen and notebook when I need to work something out, off script.
Boooooookkk: Favorite Writing Craft Book?
This one definitely has to go to On Writing by Steven King. Reading that book was like looking into the mind of a genius. There’s no fluff, no filler. Every page and word talks about his experience as a writer and author. He talks about his failings, the hard parts, the grueling work that goes into it, and more importantly, he tells you how to overcome these things, from experience. I devoured this book, and then promptly put every book in his suggested reading list onto my to be read list. (Side note: I love this question because it’s always great discovering new books on writing)
Another Glorious Morning: Do you enjoy writing in the morning? Or do you prefer the evening, like Winnifred?
I really do prefer evenings, although I have been known to write in the morning. I find that I like to incorporate my daily experiences into my writing, and I often have a bit more time to write in the evening after work.
The Black Flame Candle: What’s one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made so far in your writing journey? OR What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
I don’t count anything really as a mistake, because you learn from everything. So the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that the writing is the easy part. Everyone has stories inside of themselves to tell. The hard part is getting it out there and convincing people that it’s worth something. A lot of writers tend to be introverts, so the marketing or querying part can be a little difficult or intimidating. Writing is no problem. I’m still learning how to do everything else.
Also, another lesson I’ve learned is never to tell your story idea, because as soon as you do, you’ll lose it. I don’t know how or why this logic works, but it does. As soon as I talk about my book to someone, I lose the inspiration to write it. So now I just leave the writing to speak for itself. This also saves you from “writing a check you can’t cash”, as it were.
Billy Butcherson: What’s a trope that most people hate, but you love and would like to see “come back from the dead”?
How about villains being evil for the sake of evil? I don’t like this new trend of explaining evil intentions. Some people are just not good people. Like Maleficent. She didn’t really need a big long back story. She was the mistress of all evil. Don’t fuck with perfection. You don’t need to explain every little thing. Sometimes the villain is scarier when you don’t know why he does what he does. A lot of people want to justify or humanize villains and call them out for being morally wrong, but that’s the point! Villains are supposed to be morally wrong! I don’t need a SJW telling me I can’t like a villain character just because of what they stand for. Villains happen to be my favorite characters. So just let them be villains.
Come Little Children: Songs that give you a “hypnotic” focus when writing? I.e., fav songs on your writing playlist
I love this question! I could listen to Bohren & Der Club Of Gore and write the best shit, but I already mentioned them, so to add some variety…I love the music from Final Fantasy. It shifts moods so often, which is really helpful when writing a complex story. You can find a song for any scene you want to write. I also love getting in the zone to chillwave. I don’t have any specifics here. I usually just browse youtube or 8tracks for a chillwave mix and let the words flow.
That was fun! If you’re a writer, I tag you! Go ahead and answer the questions and link me to your posts so I can read your answers.
Take care and don’t forget to take your medications!