Sunday, October 12, 2008

Writing Quiz

Thanks to Chrysanthemum Promise, a fellow writer's blog, I've completed this little meme quiz that is racing around writer's blogs.

I'll be brief.

Do you write fiction or non-fiction? Or both?

Loads of nonfiction, in the form of hundreds of grant proposals and graduate school papers. I've dabbled in fiction for years, but never actually nurtured a story past a terrible first draft.

Do you keep a journal or a writing notebook?

Always. Unfortunately I also lose everything. I end up with writing notebooks in coat pockets, purses, diaper bags, under piles on my bedroom floor, and in my kid's toybox. I try to dump all of my good notebook ideas into a word folder every now and then so a lost notebook isn't so heartbreaking.

If you write fiction, do you know your characters’ goals, motivations, and conflicts before you start writing or is that something else you discover only after you start writing?
While preparing for this big NaNoWriMo-inspired push to complete a novel before I'm 30 (incredibly cliche I know), I'm thinking through the story quite a bit ahead of time. I have actually followed the Snowflake Method, and it's helped me create a substantial storyline, subplots, character goals, motivations, obstacles, conflict..... and yet I still feel that there is a lot I don't know or can't nail down without actually taking the plunge on a first draft.

Are you a procrastinator or does the itch to write keep at you until you sit down and work?
Extreme procrastinator. Before I had kids, I routinely spent days laying around reading, consuming vats of coffee and all sorts of good food, and indulging every whim, confident that I would write "later." Now, with a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old who have shaken the procrastination out of me by the force of a thousand midnight snuggles, I'm committed to stealing the time to write away from my regular responsibilities.

Do you write in short bursts of creative energy, or can you sit down and write for hours at a time?
I enjoy both. Now that I have tuned into my inner muse again, I get bursts of creative momentum at least daily (the reason for my many notebooks), and even when drafting pieces I care about, I rarely have more than a couple of hours to give to anything. I'm learning to be efficient.

Are you a morning or afternoon writer?
During my baby's morning nap... both girls' afternoon naps, and after they've gone to bed in the evening. Basically whenever I don't have to be vigilant about a tiny person's self-destruction.

Do you write with music/the noise of children/in a cafe or other public setting, or do you need complete silence to concentrate?
I used to require perfect silence, but I haven't heard that in 3 years! So now, I write to Noggin's latest kid show, or my husband's guitar practice, or when I'm lucky, good music.

Computer or longhand? (or typewriter?)
Computer. I can never read my handwriting. Even my brief notes are tough to decipher. I used to write with a pencil and a legal pad, but the smudgy wild writing only got worse the more I got into my story. In the end, the whole thing was lost.

Do you know the ending before you type Chapter One? Or do you let the story evolve as you write?

I have to know where the story is headed, and I have to know the major turns it will take along the way, but so far I'm always surprised by first drafts. No matter how well I outline, the story has its own momentum.

Does what’s selling in the market influence how and what you write?
No. I've just gotten into writing. If I can make it through the creative cycle, past the first draft, through several edits, arriving at a manuscript I don't hate, maybe then I'll give it some thought.

Editing/Revision - love it or hate it?
Loved it during the grant writing phase of my life. Progress was so immediate. I haven't yet edited any of my own fiction.

1 comment:

Anna said...

this was great fun to read! I see good things ahead for you... :)))


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