Kristina Elyse Butke
Writer's Facts Twitter Meme
I thought about doing this one on Twitter but to be honest, my engagement is really low and this game has you answering questions for every like you get. On a good day, I get maybe three likes for whatever I post. I just don't get the views or the interactions there, and I feel very contemplative this month for some reason, so I'm interested in sharing more about me lately. Hence this post! I'm going to answer all 20 questions to let you know a little more about who I am as a writer and what I do.
Here are the original prompts from @writer_gem (the account has since been deleted).
Here we go!
Age you started writing - I remember seriously starting to write in 3rd grade, so age eight. I probably wrote assignments in school before then, but this was when I started writing my own books and poetry. And when I say books, I mean my very first book, The Fantasy Club, which ripped off stuff I saw on TV (oops). It was an actual book, though. My teacher sold plain white hardcover books that you could write in and illustrate, and that's exactly what I did. I also had my first published story about what would happen in the year 2000 (as it was the early 90s back then).
Story that inspired you to write - Juliet Marillier's Daughter of the Forest made me want to switch from playwriting to writing fiction. I read that book in 2001 while I was in college and was so touched by it, I reached out to the author via email to compliment her.
First WIP title - My first play was The Phantom of the Opera but we were worried about copyright so it was changed to Paris Opera Ghost. So that's the first and probably only instance where a WIP title was just that.
First, second, or third person? I love first person and third person equally. Son of the Siren is written in third person and The Name and the Key and the other books in its trilogy are written in first.
Favorite time of day to write - I used to love writing at night but I don't have the energy to do that anymore. I tend to get into writing around 11am/noon. When I'm employed, I do it on the weekends.
Favorite place to write - in my room at my desk on my computer.
Most overused word - I use "murmur" a lot. I also used the description "like watercolors" a little too much in Son of the Siren.
Most overused punctuation - semicolons and em-dashes
Long or short sentences? To be honest, I prefer long sentences. People I listen to tend to ramble and go off on little side tangents, and I think longer sentences reflect that accurately.
Plain or purple prose? I've had more experience with plain than purple. We're always told purple prose is bad. I don't think it necessarily is, unless it's preventing the plot from advancing and is there just for the writer to show themselves off. I'd go with plain over purple, though.
Your first MC - in my first book The Fantasy Club I used my best friends and myself as the main characters. I guess I'm my first MC. I'm super embarrassed about it!
Favorite trope - Only One Bed!
Least favorite trope - Enemies to lovers. I know this is really, really popular right now (I've seen it on a ton of agents' Manuscript Wishlists, too) but I think it's hard to pull off successfully. Too many books I've read have depicted the "enemy" as unbelievably cruel or a total asshole, and I don't think they deserve love when what they've done is unforgiveable. I haven't been able to root for most relationships like this. This is probably because the "enemy" isn't sympathetic enough, but evil with a capital E. And too many "enemies to lovers" end up being a "bully-victim" relationship, which guess what, is abusive!
Least favorite OC - I like all my OCs but if I had to choose a least favorite, it would be the Queen (my antagonist) from Son of the Siren. She gave me the most trouble writing; beta readers absolutely hated her; and while I'm happy with my current draft where I toned her down considerably, I'm worried that readers will still want her to die, they hated her that much.
Worst writing habit - writing when the mood strikes instead of writing regularly.
Weird personal writing quirk - sometimes I need to have a hat on when I write. I don't know why. I haven't put hats on since moving back from Japan because I don't know where they went, but there was an old seafaring/captain cap I'd put on to write. I called it my "thinking cap."
Notebook or computer? I use notebooks for prewriting and plotting and computer for the actual drafting and editing, so...both.
Favorite setting to write - I love writing scenes that take place in forests.
Biggest writing fear - that I'll never be published and that if I am, many people won't like what I write. I know I can't please everyone--I found this out through beta reading that my stuff just isn't for everyone--so I'll have to bear with people not liking what I write. But if lots of people do--like, the majority--I'll be crushed. I write for myself, but I very much want an audience, too.
Biggest writing hope - to be published and have people love my writing. This is probably not healthy thinking, to be so concerned with what other people think, but it's important to me that not only I like my writing, but other people do, too--I want readers!!