It’s lovely and sunny outside, and I have about five million things to do since I didn’t touch a single stack of homework over the holiday weekend. Sounds like a perfect time to ramble through this survey, which the lovely Kristin Otts tagged me to complete. If I don’t get anything done, I blame her 🙂 although I do love surveys so much more than homework. Thanks, Kristin!
1) What’s the last thing you wrote? What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?
THE INBETWEEN was the last thing I completed, but if you want a more technical answer, the last thing I wrote was about 2,000 words of FELL last night.
The first things I wrote were stories from first and second grade. Those two years, I had two lovely teachers, Ms. Mathis and Ms. Shields, who loved to write and loved to encourage their students to write. I wrote all sorts of stories about my cat Whimsey, and my family’s vacations, and horses (I was obsessed with horses). They’re all laminated and bound and certified by the words “Room 5/6 Publishing”… and in bookcases back home.
2) Write poetry?
Once upon a time, when I was an angsty high school student…
3) Angsty poetry?
Oh yes. Who hasn’t written angsty poetry? (If only for the sole purpose of later laughter…)
4) Favorite genre of writing?
I love mysteries. Love, love, love.
5) Most annoying character you’ve ever created?
Possibly this guy named Tad, who appeared in THE THRILL SEEKERS as a nerdy, annoying (ANNOYING!) and unwanted sidekick for the main characters.
6) Best plot you’ve ever created?
I suppose TIB…
7) Coolest plot twist you’ve ever created?
If I told you, it would no longer be a twist.
8 ) How often do you get writer’s block?
I don’t think I believe in writer’s block — yes, I am one of those people. I don’t know what I believe, because sometimes my stories stop short, but I think that’s because of the internet and/or my own distracting life…
9) Write fan fiction?
10) Do you type or write by hand?
I can’t write fast enough to keep up with my thoughts; plus I’m one of those neat-freak people who has to make everything they hand-write, including lecture notes, look PERFECT. Too much pressure… so I revert to the computer, where all typed letters look perfect without effort.
11) Do you save everything you write?
Yes, even scribbled things on sticky notes. Check out my closet back home — it houses a *neat* stack of papers from as far back as the first novel I wrote.
12) Do you ever go back to an idea after you’ve abandoned it?
I incorporate abandoned ideas into new ideas, but no, I’ve never completely gone back to an abandoned idea.
13) What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?
14) What’s everyone else’s favorite story you’ve written?
15) Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?
TIB could classify as both…
16) What’s your favorite setting for your characters?
Morrow, the setting of TIB, is misty and woodsy and beachy — and (I think) quite creepy. It used to be my favorite until FELL came along. Now I love the Seattle of that world … full of traffic, sirens, and rainy nights and streetlights.
17) How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Only one — FELL.
18) Have you ever won an award for your writing?
OH just kidding, I totally did. I won the Creative Writing award my senior year of high school, and I will always remember what my teacher said as she presented the award: that I had “delicate genius”. I’ve never been quite sure what that meant, but I think it sounds cool.
19) What are your five favorite words?
Rain, tumble, green, squish, love.
20) What character have you created that is most like yourself?
I think Chloe, Sophie’s sidekick and sometimes-best-friend from TIB, sounds the most like me, although we don’t share too many personal similarities. I guess I’d have to say Birch from FELL if only because she and I share the whole fire-nightmare connection.
21) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?
People around me.
(Yes, people around me, be afraid — but not too afraid, because you’ll only end up as a minor character with a changed name and changed hair color. Major characters just ARE the way they are.)
22) Do you ever write based on your dreams?
Not usually. Most of the time I write based on reality — TIB has a few little conversations/interactions that my friends see and go, “hey, didn’t that happen to us?”
But FELL will have several of my fire nightmares.
23) Do you favor happy endings?
I’m not sure how to answer this question. I favor them in books I read, but not necessarily books I write. Books I write must end the right way (the way that grows, changes, and challenges its characters), and that is not always the happy way.
24) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Yes, especially when my mistakes are underlined with red and green squiggles. I can’t stand red and green squiggles.
25) Does music help you write?
Sometimes. I have playlists for TIB and FELL (although FELL’s only has one song so far). But I like quiet, too — the kind in coffee shops, not libraries.
26) Quote something you’ve written. Whatever pops in your head.
I see him again on the northbound 17 express: Rush hour traffic and nowhere to sit, rain spattering the windshield, and that boy standing in the aisle ahead of me, pretending to read Steinbeck like yesterday but never actually flipping the page.
And it scares me. The day before yesterday, he was just another passenger. Yesterday he was cute, and once I stared back when I caught him looking, fluttered my eyelashes and smiled like a fool. Today, he is terrifying. I don’t know why.
~ from FELL
Well, that was fun. Time to write a paper or two. I tag Laurie.