Well, guys, for once I’m going to do a Beautiful People post not using one of my characters from Burning Thorns. I KNOW, RIGHT??? IT’S BEEN AGES. So who am I going to feature today?
*pause for dramatic effect*
Now before you think I’ve turned into a complete narcissist, I’m only doing this because the Beautiful People questions for this month are centered around the author. So see? It’s not even my choice.
(But really now, over half this blog is me talking about my writing. Oops?)
. . . THE AUTHOR . . .
1.) How do you decide which project to work on?
I pretty much force myself to have only one project at a time and make sure I finish whatever draft of that project I’m on at the time before starting another. It’s the only way I ever do actually finish things. And when I get a new shiny plot bunny I’m dyyyying to write, it gives me drive to finish my current project quickly so I can write that shiny new story idea. Alllll this to say, I work on whichever single project I have at the time.
Now, how do I decide which new project to begin is a whole ‘nother thing. Usually it’s just whatever I’m most excited about at the time, or whatever I feel like needs doing the most. Like right now I plan for my Next Big Project to be more edits on Burning Thorns because I want to start pursuing publishing with it.
Long answer short (but you guys know by now I’m incapable of short answers): I start stories that I’m feeling the most excited about, and don’t begin anything new until the first drafts are done. (I’m reeeally bad about writing a gazillion first drafts and never editing, but I’m working on breaking that habit!)
2.) How long does it usually take you to finish a project?
If it’s during NaNoWriMo, I do my best to finish within the month. (My record of finishing a book is 22 days.) But that’s only during NaNo. Any other time of the year it takes multiple months. Anywhere from 3 to 6 months I’d say. And to be clear, I’m talkin’ first drafts! If this means finish finish a project—first draft to fully edited—well…I’ve yet to have a full manuscript completely finished. (I seriously have a first draft addiction, guys! IT’S BAD.)
3.) Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?
Get a beverage of some kind, sit in chair, put on novel’s playlist, open word document, put hands on keyboard, and— OH. My phone dinged. *rushes to check email* *somehow finds self on twitter* Oh, oh! I should check to see if there’s any new blog posts on my dashboard. *scrolls through blogs* Wait, wait, I was writing. *puts on serious face* *stares at word document for 0.7 seconds* You know what, I need inspiration. *goes to novel’s storyboard on Pinterest*
*3 hours later*
How did I end up looking at funny Doctor Who memes? I just came on Pinterest to get some inspiration! Wait, it’s nighttime? It was daytime last I looked up from the computer screen! Okay, I’m writing. FOR REAL THIS TIME.
*writes 100 words*
Welp, it’s late. Better go to bed.
Oooookay, that’s a slight exaggeration. Maybe? Really, if I have a goal set in mind for how much I want to write that day or how soon I want to get the novel done, I do actually get busy writing and do my best to avoid distractions. Buuuut, distractions and procrastinating does happen. Heh. The main way I get in the writing mood is to have my novel’s playlist going. Nothing makes me want to write more than music that fits my book. It’s so inspirational!
4.) What time of day do you write best?
I write my best at night with all the lights out and everyone else in bed. I can fully immerse in my story then. But I actually don’t write at night very much, to be honest. That’s usually when I just want to chill and read or whatever. Most of my writing happens anywhere between 2 and 5 in the afternoon. Really, those are my main “work” hours. Whether it be writing, blogging, emailing, etc.
5.) Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?
I…have…no…idea. o.o I aspire to write as gorgeously as Anne Elisabeth Stengl but HAHAHAHAHA. No. No way on this earth I can capture the enchanting beauty with words she does.
I honestly can’t think of a single author whose style has reminded me of my own. What do you guys think, for any who has read my stories? Does my style remind you of anyone? I’d love to know!
6.) Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?
I started because I loved stories and thought it’d be fun to write my own. I was right.
Why does one keep breathing? Because they have to. It’s the same with writing for me. I have this insatiable urge to create stories. Stories are 96% if what goes on inside my head. It controls my life, the way I see the world, everything about me. Writing is my oxygen and I can never stop.
7.) What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?
Are we talkin’ which novel was the hardest or what scene?
For the novel, I’d say More Purple than Amethysts, the 3rd book in my Colors of a Dragon Scale series. I had some life stress going on during that NaNo and just wasn’t getting into my story as much as usual. Though I still had some golden moments and look back on that story and time with it with fondness. But I’d definitely say it was my least favorite novel to write. It’s really the only novel I’ve written that doesn’t make me all nostalgic and happy-ful thinking about my time with it. Yes, during the writing process I can get stressed and overwhelmed and exhausted. But, overall, writing a novel is the most magical thing to me and memories of writing each story brings a smile to my face.
As far as scenes…well, I’ve always hated writing fight scenes. Which brings the questions whyyyyy do I always include a gadrillion in my stories? I guess I like torturing myself???? I DON’T KNOW. Just…trying to write a play-by-play of a swordfight hurts my brain.
8.) Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?
There are quite a few vague ideas rolling through my head that don’t feel quite ready to tackle. But there’s one in particular.
For probably 3 or so years now I’ve had this Arthurian legend story in my head. (Because, really, I never run out of Arthurian legend stories. I’m a total King Arthur fangirl and there’s sooooo much you can do with those legends.) It takes place in both modern times and King Arthur’s day and involves immortality and Arthur’s returning and running from the authorities on motorcycles and all sorts of weird stuff. But it’ll take place in modern day London as well as King Arthur’s time and, for once, I don’t want it to be a fantasy version of those days. I want to make everything as accurate as possible, including London’s layout, which will require immense amounts of research.
Like visiting London and writing the novel while I’m there. But seriously, that’s the dream. And just…stuff. I think it’s a deep book, maybe even a thriller, and I just…don’t foresee myself writing it for a long, looong time. It’ll be completely different from my usual stuff. But one day I really want to. It’s already become special to me, and is pretty vivid in my mind. One of those types of stories where I get snippets of scenes in my head quite often, ya know? It just won’t let me go. So…one day. But for now it’s not ready.
I do have a fairly long ramble of it in my writing journal for safe keeping when it does feel ready though. Juuust in case my useless memory decides to discard it one day…
9.) What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?
*scratches head awkwardly*
Okay so…I had big plans for 2017. BIG PLANS. Like get Burning Thorns super edited and have a query letter ready and find some literary agents to send it to and be super active on my blog/instagram/twitter and basically DO ALL THE THINGS. This was going to be the year I actually worked toward being a published author.
I wrote one short story back in February and that’s basically the extent of my writing ALL YEAR. I’ve barely touched Burning Thorns, I took two month long blogging hiatuses (something I haven’t done in 4 YEARS). I’ve just barely even been a writer this year!
But you know what? It’s okay. Because, yes, I wrote an elaborate list of 2017 writing goals, but then God said, “Nope, not this year”. And it’s been good. Great. I’ve had lots of changes going on and exciting things happening, all of which I’ve been able to focus on and soak up instead of being cooped up in my room writing. And, not only that, but I haven’t had a writing break this long for, sheesh, 7 years? o.o It’s really helped me gain perspective on things and grow as a person. And, most importantly of all, it’s made me realize something: I love writing. Yes, not writing has made me realize I love writing.
See, for a while there I was really stressed, even to the point that I wondered if I really wanted to be a writer for the rest of my life. But this break has caused me to see that I can’t survive without writing. The longer I don’t write, the more I want to, the more I miss it, the more stories plague me, begging to be written. As I said before, writing is my oxygen. I needed this break to realize that.
So it’s been good. And I really do plan on returning to writing soon. I’m at the point where I’m about to erupt from lack of story making. But that’s so much better than the stressed out, exhausted mess I was at the beginning of the year.
Moral of the story: Let God interrupt your plans. You’ll thank Him later.
Also, never be ashamed of taking writing breaks. They’re a necessity for writers.
(And wow…that got deep and rambly just for a simple question. SOWWY.)
10.) Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!
. . .
this month??? (Because, ya know, YOU SHOULD.)
Well, there you have it. A peek into my writing life. (Though I suspect you all already knew most of these answers since we’ve already established the fact that I talk about my writing life on this blog way too much.) Do we share any similar writing traits? And have you joined the Beautiful People linkup