Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Writer Tag

Hamlette tagged me for this one.  So here goes...

1. What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?
Let's see.  I'm a fiction writer of short stories, novellas, and novels.  These days, I write mostly dark actiony fantasy stuff, with a bit of Combat! fanfiction thrown in every now and then.  What style do I write in?  Depends on what the story requires, but usually it's in third person limited, and I tend to write fast-paced suspense stories, I guess you could say.  I'm not sure the word topic applies, as I don't write about topics.  However, there are certainly themes I'm fond of, that I find myself drawn back to over and over again.  Friendship.  Betrayal.  Love.  Magic that isn't traditional wave-a-wand/spell magic. Freedom and fighting for freedom.  Standing up for what's right.

2. How long have you been writing?
Since I learned how to spell.  My first completed story that was not written for school was probably second or third grade, but I'm not memory-oriented, so no actual idea.  I wrote about a space race to Mars, complete with plenty of action, betrayal, and attempted murder.  Yeah.  Not much has changed.

3. Why do you write?
I write to escape this mundane life.  I write to tell stories that will entertain others and let them escape for awhile.  I write to hopefully keep them up until 2 am because they can't put it down and have to find out what happens.

4. When is the best time to write?
Weekend mornings, or weekday nights.  Has to be done in off-hours when I'm not at the day job.  I prefer evenings, when it's dark and quiet and nobody's bugging me.

5. Parts of writing you love vs. parts you hate.
There's nothing as glorious as watching an idea take off in your head, watching it expand and surprise you and become something you didn't dream of when you originally said, "hey, what if..."  I also love writing or rewriting when I'm not involved consciously, but am just racing to write down what my characters are doing and saying.  Anytime they're in charge and I'm not having to coerce or bribe them into working for me is fun and delightful and makes for a good writing day.  I trust my subconscious to deliver what's required, and it very rarely lets me down.  Conscious fiction writing... which I do as little of as possible, is never as fun.  That's when it becomes work.  I'm also probably rare, in that I like editing as well.  I love tightening up a manuscript, throwing out the useless bits.  There's a great joy to turning a 200 word paragraph into a 100 word paragraph where every new word does a better job than the 200 that came before it.  And one of the very very very best parts of writing is when it's all over, and the story is in the hands of a reader, and you find out if it all worked or not.  That's the reward.

What do I hate about writing?  Not much.  Getting stuck, I suppose.

6. How do you overcome writer's block?
Depends on the type of writer's block.  The kind where I'm just lazy and would rather do something else?  I just have to start writing and everything will click into place all on its own, guaranteed.  Just start writing.  The kind where I'm stuck on a scene because I'm missing an element, or the world building failed, or I let my conscious brain interfere and accidentally wrote myself into a corner... those require patience and more thinking time.  So, I walk away for awhile and do something else while the subconscious fixes it.

7. Are you working on something at the moment?
I've got a fantasy noir tale I'm writing, currently titled "The Sunflower Dress."

8. Writing goals this year? 
I'm not a very goal-oriented person, I've discovered.  If I set goals, they tend to make me stubbornly do the opposite because I don't like being told what to do.  Even by myself.  Even if it's something I really want.  So I don't set goals.  (Deadlines from editors are a different thing entirely, but I don't have any of those right now.)  So, I'd say the only task I have at current is to keep working on my WIP until it's complete.  After that, who knows.


  1. Is that Ben playing a PI in some sort of neo-noir???

    It's so funny how we are completely opposite on goals. I have to have goals and plans. You can't have them. This cracks me up. Probably goes with the whole carrot thing too. I'm working toward getting this book off my plate Sunday night so on Monday, I can watch a new Alan movie. Here's hoping!

    1. No, just a writer, but I could TOTALLY write that story!!!

      Yeah, I really can't do what you do. See, I'd have to watch the Alan movie now, otherwise I'd be distracted and unable to focus until I saw it and got it out of the way. Like I started reading a new novel a couple days ago, and now I can't write until I finish it because otherwise I'm just going to wonder what's going to happen in it instead of thinking about my story. I guess I am just not a creative multi-tasker. One thing at a time.

    2. Of course you would! Poor Ben would end up lying a gutter somewhere, though, staring up at the cold, unfeeling stars as his life blood slowly flows down a storm drain, mixed with the city's detritus. So maybe we should not go there?

    3. Harsh! ROFL! But I don't kill my leads... only the second leads and people the lead cares about, right? This is why you didn't have to worry about Reece.

      (But that doesn't mean I wouldn't shoot his character and leave him lying in a gutter... until someone unexpected rescued him. Oh. Shoot. Now look what you've done. Now I know who rescues him. A story is filling in.)

  2. But that's just why I was terrified for Reece! Because he wasn't originally the main character. Jamie was.

    (It's spring! New stories abound!)

    1. Ah, gotcha. He and Jamie sort of share main lead status in that one, but I can see it could get confusing with 4 POV characters.

    2. Mostly it's because it began focused on Jamie, and Reece only showed up later on as sort of the guardian helper guy, and didn't assume shared-lead status for a long time, at least to me as a reader.

    3. But the second scene of the book is Reece's, and he and Jamie alternate equally from there until Lenzky finally gets in the game. Hee. (But that stuff was waaaay back in 2012, so... a long time ago!!) All stuff to worry about in the re-write! Which has to wait until Sunflowers is complete.

    4. Oh man, seriously? 2012? Wow. I had no idea. I was thinking like 2015.

      Nope, I don't remember Reece being in it that early at all! Huh.

    5. Yep. I wouldn't remember anything from that long ago either!! But yeah, Reece arrives in the story barely 720 words into it.