I had so much fun in May participating in Cait (PaperFury) and Sky’s (Further Up and Further In) Beautiful People meme for writers, that I’ve decided to join in again. This time, we’re talking about my writing process (or lack thereof, haha)!
How do you decide which project to work on?
It’s rare that I’ll obsess over a single project. I usually work on multiple and rotate between them depending on what subjects I’m inspired to cover that day.
How long does it usually take you to finish a project?
It really depends on the project and how motivated I am. It took me three months to finish Secrets in Seaport, but that’s hardly an example of how long it takes for me to write well. I think it took me about five months to finish my most recent project, Cliche, and I owe my fast pace to Aerin, my dear critique partner, co-writer, and muse. 🙂
Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?
I don’t have an established routine for getting into the writing mood. I take the opportunities as they come. I never know when inspiration will strike next. But in the past, listening to music that fits the mood or even just reading books have helped me break the cycle of writer’s block, at least for short periods.
If you know of any good ones, I’m all ears!
What time of day do you write best?
Extremely early in the morning or extremely late at night. The best, albeit most absurd, madness-ridden pieces of writing typically come to fruition at unearthly hours. I think the self-scrutinizing parts of my brain goes dormant when I’m half-asleep, which enables me to write more freely.
Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?
My tenth grade English teacher compared my writing style to that of Douglas Adams. I tried reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that year and never finished it, so I can’t verify that comparison for myself. Still, Adams was a Whovian and considered a terrific writer by many, so I appreciate the comparison.
Oddly, my writing style is easily influenced by whatever I’m reading at the time.
For example, I wrote Cliche on the heels of finishing A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix – there’s a chapter entitled Meanwhile, Back at the Bookstore.
If I’ve been reading a lot of Conan Doyle, my first-person narrative pieces include many “said I’s” and other quirky Doyleisms. (One of these days, I’ll read enough that I’m motivated to continue my Sherlock Holmes genderswap story.)
I also try (but don’t often succeed) to read Dickens when I’m doing freelance writing, paid by the word. 😛
Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?
I started writing chapter books in word processor files at age ten because it was a quiet and not particularly costly way of making art. People didn’t take notice, so they didn’t make a huge fuss about it at family gatherings, as they did with my musical dabbles.
Today, I write because first and foremost to entertain myself. In my tweens and early teens, I had a hard time digesting books with vulgar content. (I still do, though I have a clearer idea of my current comfort zone.) Anyway, I tried writing the kinds of stories that wouldn’t make me blush or feel very indignant as a kid. I want to publish them someday because I hope others like me, with my sensitivities, might benefit from them too.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?
One of the hardest thing I’ve written so far, for a story, is a diary entry from the perspective of a character who has fallen in love. As a headstrong young prude, it took me a while to embrace the reality that attraction, love, and the creation of new life needn’t necessarily be cheap, dirty, promiscuous things simply because the mainstream media portrays them as such so often. The least I can do is portray those beautiful facts of life in a clean, tasteful way; once I realized that, I was able to tell the story of how After the Fall’s protagonist came to be.
Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?
Rewriting Adventures with my Time-Traveling Uncle. It’s such a neat project, but at the time I wrote it, I really didn’t have the skills to convey the story in a compelling, publishable fashion. I printed a single copy for myself and it’s around here somewhere, but I never sold it. It was 50 book-pages long, approximately. I have one-third a mind to retell the important parts as a short story, because I need to get back into the habit of writing those.
What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?
I didn’t make any. 😀 That way, I was pleasantly surprised when I was suddenly able to churn out an entire first draft in about six months’ time!
Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!
Spontaneous. Passionate. Progressive.