07 May 2020

Writers #Ask, the Sequel


Original photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

Tumblr is a compendium of fun writing #asks, and today's comes from The Republic of Letters. Some of these I've answered before, but many questions are new, and my goal for this ask is to answer these questions without rambling, as I often do! Let's keep these answers short and sweet, and thanks for reading!

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Is there a specific drink you like to have when you’re writing?

I switch between the ever-so-healthy water and the poison known as soda, and unfortunately soda tends to win out because of the caffeine and sugar. Booooooooo.

What time of day do you think is the best to write?

Between 6pm and 10pm.

Where do you write best?

At my writing desk!

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
Do you do word sprints? If so, for how long do you do them, and what’s your average word count?

I don't participate in word sprints because I don't like that kind of pressure.

Do you write when you travel? If so, where is the farthest away from home that you’ve written?

I don't write when I travel because I can't concentrate on writing -- not when there's so much exploring to do!

Do you share your work before it’s finished?

Yes; primarily the opening chapters because they are so difficult for me.

Which character that you’ve written is most like yourself?

Years ago it was Emma from Melancholia. From fiction, Laney from The Name and the Key.

Which character is your favorite to write? Why?

Andresh from The Name and the Key because he's a charming, sexy boy with a penchant for dark magic.

How long is your current work in progress (words or pages)? 

According to Pacemaker I'm at 16,936 words; according to Microsoft Word I'm at 53 pages.

Do you have a specific philosophy that you go by when you write?

Don't fight your process and try not to compare yourself to other people (particularly using other writers to gauge your own success). 

What were your favorite books as a child?

All of these are series: Choose Your Own Adventure, Goosebumps, Fear Street, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, our old World Book Encyclopedia set, and the Step Into Reading book series with titles on Tutankhamen, Pompeii, and others. 

From Amazon


Do you read while writing, or try to split it up?

This is an ambiguously worded question. If it means I read my own writing while I write, yes, I do it all the time and I can't help myself. If it means I read someone else's fiction while I write, no, I don't do it because I can't concentrate. 

Which authors or styles do you try to emulate in your writing?

I don't want to emulate other authors! I want to write like ME!

Would you want your books to be made into a TV show or movie?  

I think The Name and the Key could be a good TV series on Netflix or HBO or Showtime or a similar streaming network, while Son of the Siren would be a dream come true if it was made into an anime.

How do you plan your writing?

I usually write by the seat of my pants but I wanted to change things with Son of the Siren because my productivity when I impulse-write is awful. I used Notebook a.i. for worldbuilding and The Novel Factory software to construct the outline, premise, and story skeleton. It was the first time EVER I was able to fully plot a book before writing it, and I am so pleased with this change in me. Productivity has shot up!

Do you write on a computer or on paper? What program, or what type or paper/pen?

I write on my PC in Microsoft Word. But when it comes to research or note-taking, I will write in a standard lined notebook or yellow legal pad and I'll use a mechanical pencil with 0.5 lead (0.7 can suck it. Fight me!) 
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash


Is there a specific category or genre your writings generally fall into? Which?

My fiction definitely qualifies as fantasy. I also want to write horror but for now I just include scary things in my fantasy. I wouldn't go so far as to call it dark fantasy, though, because I still like happily ever afters in my stories.

Would any characters from one of your works go well with your others?

I think Andresh from The Name and the Key would be a great older brother figure to Lirien from Son of the Siren. Lirien could use that kind of support and love from a male figure who isn't a disappointment.

Do you write multiple works at the same time?

Images from Google Image Search
Nope. My brain can't handle it.

What color scheme is your current work in progress?

Whaaaat? Ok...I guess it's dark blue, teal blue, and rust orange because these are the colors I picture Lirien wearing from Son of the Siren. It's the colors I think would go best with his hair (dark indigo) and eyes (sunset orange).  I looked at a bunch of photos of tropical fish to determine how he and other sirens should look, so that's why his coloring is a bit...unusual.

Do you create aesthetics for your writing, ie. on pinterest or tumblr? If so, what’s the board or tag?

I have several, but I'll link to the one for The Name and the Key and Son of the Siren.

Do you listen to music when you write?

Yes. Scores to film, TV, video games, and animation, mostly.

Do you make playlists for your works in progress, characters, or scenes? 

Yes! If there's a scene with a lot of dialogue, anime scores work really well because most songs are a minute or so in length.

Do you prefer first or third person? Why? 

I wrote The Name and the Key in first person because it felt natural to, while Son of the Siren is in third person because it's definitely a fairy tale that requires a storyteller narrative voice. If I had to choose between the two, third person is the top choice.

How do you defeat writers’ block?

By working on other art projects related to the one I'm writing, whether it's making mood boards on Pinterest, drawing pictures of the characters, designing costumes, etc. I'll also watch movies set in the time period or in a world like the one I'm writing in, and that'll inspire me, too. Playlists also help!

How often do you write?

It's all over the place. I can conclusively say NOT everyday. 

The original image comes from USL Newsletter
Have you ever done NaNoWriMo?

Multiple times, and I have failed every time. I can't handle that kind of pressure. 

What’s your inspiration for writing?

I try to write the stories I want to read. 

Which style/era of writing do you most fit in with?

I think I have a lot of carryover habits from 19th century writing. I don't address the reader in my sentences or break the fourth wall when it comes to writing fiction, but I do favor long sentences, semicolons, and asides. I try not to overdo it but sometimes I can't help myself!

What’s your favorite part about writing?

Naming and character creation! I can't get enough of both. 

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