Sunday, September 29, 2013

Writing

W-r-r-r-riting Tag...

 



What was your first-ever piece of writing?
Way back when, my sister and I shared a bedroom, and whenever she had trouble getting to sleep I would help her by telling her stories, and I made up a lot of them. One of these stories depicted the Alphabet as a town and the letter U as the main character. We both liked the story so much that I wrote and illustrated it and entered it in a contest which I won second place for. That was the first piece I actually wrote. But I drew a story in pictures when I was four, and my mom wrote in the words for me.
 
How old were you when you first began writing?
I have been writing, or say, "telling" or "creating" stories since I was four years old, but I've been technically writing since I was six.

Haha...here's a little extra tidbit for you. I wrote my first-ever fanfiction when I was eight, and it was for Winnie the Pooh. I didn't even know the word "fanfiction" yet.

 
Name two writing goals. One short term & one long term.
Short term goal? That would probably be to finish the novel I am working on now, and there are a couple short stories that have been on my mind a long time too. A long term goal would be to sell one thousand copies of Resistance.


Do you write fiction or non-fiction?
I write mostly fiction right now, because I have so much fun creating characters and developing intricate plots and backgrounds and so on. It's like knitting a giant quilt and watching the patterns and colors form these beautiful designs, and sure, sometimes you have to pull out and start over, but becoming deeply involved in your own creation is very freeing for the spirit. However once I'm older and I've had a lot more experience in life, I anticipate I'll move away from fiction because the real world has become too rich and exciting not to write about. Fiction takes it out on my brain, and nonfiction takes it out on my soul.


Bouncing off of question 4, what’s your favorite genre to write in?
Right now I lean towards historical fiction, and every now and then a good thriller or horror. Those seem to be the best for me because historical fiction requires doing a lot of research, which means I get an excuse to teach myself a bunch of stuff on history I otherwise wouldn't have bothered to touch on, and thriller/horror because scaring people is just too much fun. But if I'm writing a story focused mostly on the character development, trains of thought, inward goals and motivations, and so on and so forth, the "genre" doesn't really matter to me. It can be murder-mystery, science-fiction, dystopian, whatever. For me it's more about the emotions and the message of the story and not so much the actual genre. But I would probably never write a high-fantasy or a romance.


One writing lesson you’ve learned since 2013 began.
Oh, wow, so many things...I've learned some techniques and improvements on arranging thoughts, recurring symbolism and metaphors, writing a child's train of thought and dialogue, intentional improvisation, and on and on.

 
Favorite author, off the top of your head!
Ray Bradbury. Hands down, my favorite author in the history of the universe and everything. Ray. Gurddamn. Bradbury. Rest in peace, my hero.


Three current favorite books.
I hate this question.
I'd have to say Fahrenheit 451 because that has always been an old favorite. Second is Flags of Our Fathers...such a great story about Iwo Jima and an intimate look on the American soldiers who fought there. And third would have to be the last fiction book I read, The Book Thief. The characters and the plot were brilliant, and the writing style very vivid and rich with symbols and metaphors, the kind of book I could read over and over and catch new things every time.



Biggest influence on your writing {person}:
Again and again, Ray Bradbury! I remember first reading Fahrenheit 451 a few years ago and I went head over heels with his writing style. Style means everything to me when it comes to a good story. To me a great plot and a lousy style is a lousy book. 451 was such a huge influence on me that it gave my own approach to writing a 180 degree flip. It basically changed the whole way I thought about writing. I would not hesitate to say that Bradbury changed my life. So for the last few years I've been slowly devouring his short stories, and whenever I feel like I need inspiration, I'll go read a couple favorite Fahrenheit 451 excerpts. Another person that has really helped me is my dad. His job requires a lot of critical writing so he is a seasoned expert on outlining thoughts, making the topic relevant to the audience, and invoking the right emotions at the right time. He has been a great mentor to me and gives positive feedback on a lot of my work. He's the reason I want to go for more nonfiction when I'm older.


What’s your go-to writing music?
If I'm writing a historical fiction, I listen to music from that era...baroque for a story in the 18th century, ragtime for the 1910's, big band and swing for the 1930's and '40's, blah blah blah. Sometimes if I need to go for a specific emotion in a scene I'll listen to a couple songs that trigger that emotion in me. But generally going, just to get me rolling in my writing, I listen to a lot of opera, classical, swing, and some film soundtrack.


List three to five writing quirks of yours! Little habits, must-haves as you write, etc.
A quirk? Well, I do my best writing from 2 PM to 9 PM, and my best editing from 10 PM to 3 AM.


Another quirk is my favorite weather when writing. I don't like writing on warm or sunny days...it's like a violation of nature. I should be outside and plus it's no fun trying to write when sunlight is pouring in through the window. My favorite weather is cold and rainy, when everything is so damp and dreary and bitter and and cloudy. It's perfect for writing!

Finally there is one habit I've been trying to build...that is not letting my lack of knowledge or know-how on a subject slow down my writing. For example if I'm writing historical fiction set in the 18th century and suddenly realize I don't know how to describe the women's hairstyles. Instead of stopping my writing to go and look it up in a book or online, I've been trying to bold or italicize the area and come back to it later. It makes you feel foolish, but it's extremely helpful!


 
What, in three sentences or less, does your writing mean to you?
Writing has been my passion for well over a decade and probably will play a part in the rest of my life. It is the way I express myself and pull out the things buried deep in my heart and soul. And writing brings me so much joy and makes me always strive towards improvement.

3 comments:

  1. Awesome post! I love writing in the rain too. I can totally relate to this. Ahh and the Book Thief is AMAZING.

    I really wanna read your book Resistance! I just need to get out of this country because you can't buy stuff safely from Amazon in Pakistan :(

    Alphabet as a town! Oh my gosh! I love that idea! I wanna read the story for your competition! Ideas are already building in my head from it- like how U fell in love with I, etc. ahhh that's a great idea you have.

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  2. This was a really fun post to read, and I'm sorry I haven't commented until now. You're a fantastic writer, and it was great to read what has led you to this point of proficiency, and how your journey has been thus far.

    I too really loved the Book Thief, and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! I know a movie of it is coming out soon and I'm really hoping it will be very good.

    Interestingly, I find it slightly difficult to write on days when it's all cloudy and rainy, the opposite of you. Rain and clouds make me kind of a little depressed and then my mind is prone to wander. I read better in rainy weather and write better when it's kind of sunny or at least not completely grey outside. Would you ever consider publishing your story about the letter U anywhere? I would love to read it!

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    Replies
    1. Wow, thank you so much! I try to work really hard on my writing so that means a lot to me! I hope the Book Thief movie is good; the trailer looked promising but there are things you an explain in a book that just doesn't make it to the screen, like Death's narration. For my U story I would have to find it but if I do maybe ill post it somewhere online! It is very childish but I kind of cherish it since it was my first story.

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