February 04, 2010

Survey says

Surveys are usually super-cheesy, but this one is about writing. Enjoy! Feel free to answer these questions in a comment.

1.) What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have?
Besides this blog, the last thing I wrote was not so much written but edited - my manuscript. The first thing I wrote... I don't remember. My elementary education placed a heavy emphasis on the creative arts, so I remember completing creative writing assignments as far back as first grade. I actually wrote a 'book' that got featured in a city-wide young author fair sometime around 3rd or 4th grade. I do believe it was about a diabolical piece of pizza. I wrote, illustrated, and designed the book.

2.) Do you write poetry?
I wrote a lot of poems when I was a teenager and when my brother was in Iraq a few years ago. I still have all of the poems. Occasionally I look back on them and am still impressed. Maybe I don't know anything about poetry, but I think they are good.

3.) Angsty teenage poetry?
My teen years were relatively angst-free. I was lucky enough to avoid most of the stuff that tortures teenagers.

4.) Favorite genre of writing?
Short stories, fantasy, non-fiction narrative, and social commentary.

5.) Most annoying character you've ever created?
The younger sister in my manuscript is annoying on purpose, but no more so than a sibling would be in real life.

6.) Best plot you've ever created?
Hopefully the one in my book!

7.) How often do you get writer's block?
Now it's more of editor's block. But I don't tend to suffer from writer's block too bad. More often laziness and fear.

8.) Write fan fiction?
No, but I did have to write a research paper on fan fic for my pop culture class in college.

9.) Do you type or write by hand?
My hand can't keep up with my brain, so I type unless I am trying to develop an idea - then handwriting feels more concrete and productive.

10.) Do you save everything you write?
I do.

11.) Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?
I rarely fully abandon an idea, but instead set it aside until I have enough inspiration or experience to finish the piece. I keep everything and often revisit old ideas.

12.) What's your favorite thing you've ever written?
Twelve Odd Hours, a non-fiction narrative recounting a 2007 road trip to fetch my brother from rural Tennessee after an accident left him stranded there the week before he deployed to Iraq.

13.) What's everyone else's favorite story you've written?
I don't often share my writing with anyone but family, and I'm not even sure what their answer would be, so I don't know.

14.) What's your favorite setting for your characters?
Setting is not as important to me as what the characters are doing within the confines of the setting.

15.) How many writing projects are you working on right now?
One and only one, although I have several ideas bouncing around in my head, including a screenplay about a family's struggle to deal with their loved one's deployment (sound familiar?).

16.) Have you ever won an award for your writing?
I won a few awards back during elementary, middle, and high school, but nothing big. I was always far too lazy to enter those contests. Competed and won an award in the Optimist Oratorical Contest two years in a row in middle school, though.

17.) What are your five favorite words?
I like language (and languages) in general. For a while I considered getting my master's in linguistics or teaching ESOL.

18.) What character have you created that is most like yourself?
Every character has a small bit of me in them, but none are much like me.

19.) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?
Most of my characters are a mix of people I know, inspiration from characters in books, movies, or on TV, and my imagination.

20.) Do you ever write based on your dreams?
Daydreams, yes, but no - no vampires or high school girls have ever come to me fully formed in a dream.

21.) Do you favor happy endings?
I do, so long as it does not feel forced. Sometimes things just end badly, and that's the way it is.

22.) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Very, very much so. I can't just turn off Spelling and Grammar Check in my head!

23.) Does music help you write?
Sometimes it does, especially when I am trying to capture a strong emotion. Other times it can be distracting. And occasionally I just don't notice it at all.

24.) When and where do you write the best?
In the afternoon, at my desktop in the office. Using the laptop is nice, but it makes my wrists hurt.

25.) What has shaped your writing the most?
When I was young, my family encouraged me to write and told me I could be whatever I wanted to be. They told me I was talented and fully supported my decision to become a full-time, unpaid writer, even when I thought I was embarking upon a silly pipe dream. My husband, who told me, in these exact words, "I believe in you." Many people imply those words, but to be told them outright is a gift. In recent years, my brother's deployment to Iraq has inspired and affected my writing the most.


Erik said...

I went through and answered a couple of them :)

2.) I wish I could.

4.) Probably some kind of fantasy setting.

9.) I definitely type. My handwriting is terribly ugly.

10.) I try to, unless I hate it TOO much :)

16.) No, I'm still way to bad to enter contests, especially with my extreme self-criticism.

17.) Five? Hm, perhaps defenestration, stellar, archaic, eviscerate and... quixotic? I could go on, though.

20.) I am so envious of people having cool "night-dreams".

21.) I agree :) I think the best endings feels right, they don't necessarily have to be all happiness and rainbows.

22.) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Very, very much so. I can't just turn off Spelling and Grammar Check in my head!

This is so true, it's such a handicap when you're on a deadline and just want to rush a first draft :/

23.) No, definitely not. Makes me unable to concentrate. I do like music otherwise, though.

24.) I definitely write best in the middle of the night. I'm nocturnal.

Abby Stevens said...

Your five favorite words are awesome! Especially quixotic... seriously. I rarely find a reason to use it, but when I do... what a great word!

sharon lea ford said...

Wow, 65,000 words, that's alot. I'd love to read it sometime. Check out my new young adult fantasy and see what you think "The Pages of Lost Time" http://www.sharonleaford.com/

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