January Author Confessions

Rather than posting a motley list of all my twitter responses to JM Sullivan‘s #authorconfession tags, it makes more sense to highlight the ones that needed more than just 140 characters to answer. So here goes!

And as always, feel free to answer these interesting questions in the comments below, or even write up a blog post about it.

Day 3: How many WIPs do you have? Currently, I have 1 WIP. I can’t work on more than one at a time. But I do have 3 others to switch to, if need be…

My current WIP is an ongoing vampire novella series. My other two WIPs is another vampire novel that I’ve written about 60k for in 2015’s Nanowrimo, of which has yet to be finished. I estimate it to be completed with 30-40k more words. Hopefully. My other WIP hasn’t yet been written but is still in its construction stage. It’s an epic fantasy and it’s been an ongoing project for a long time. It’s been through three starts, four different outlines, and four makeovers of the protagonist. Still not happy with it.

I’ve seen some writing folks with the ability to write in more than one WIP at a time, but that boggles my mind. How do they do that?? I’ve tried writing in one WIP while brainstorming another, and in the end, making progress was frustrating and stressful. That was when I learned that I can only focus on one project at a time. There’s also advice out there to read fiction while writing, but that, too, is an impossibility for my one-track mind.

Day 10: What do you like best about your writing? #authorconfession 10. What I like best about my writing? The act of it. The freedom of working with people and a medium I love.

It is so hard to talk up my writing, and so easy to talk it down. This was a difficult question to answer, and don’t think that it wasn’t tempting to just skip it. (So yes, I’m going to force myself to expound on it!) The long answer to this question would be that I enjoy writing, period. There isn’t any specific part of it that I “like,” I can’t honestly sit here and say that I like how I write my characters, or worldbuild, or the dialogue, or anything in particular like that. I write because I enjoy creating a story, and then perfecting it into a better story. I enjoy creating a world out of nothing, and then “living” in it. I enjoy molding a character and then living another life through them. As an artist, a story is more forgiving than paint. Perhaps that is why I write more often now than paint/draw.

And the company is fantastic, writerly people are awesome! As with all creative types, jealousy and competition don’t seem to run quite as rampant in the writing community as it does in the artist community. And this is refreshing.

Day 11: Which book do you wish you had written? It’s not so much that I wish I wrote them, but more of a I wish I could write like Rice and her Vampire Chronicles ❤️

If I’m ever in need of a kick in the butt to go and write, picking up one of Rice’s Vampire Chronicle books always works for me. Most books I enjoy, but there’s something magical about Rice’s storytelling that conjures up the I-need-to-write-right-now feeling inside of me. Yes, some folks can’t stand her writing or plots, but not so in my world. Growing up with her vampire stories truly played a large role in my writing (and reading) life. I don’t wish to write a book that’s already been written, but I would wish to capture the mood of particular books, to include Interview With a Vampire, Brothers Karamazov, Name of the Rose, Anathem (the first half), and Time and Again.

Day 15: Tell a secret about your WIP. #authorconfession 15 A secret about my WIP: Some characters may have been coincidentally  similar to people I’ve come across in real life…

Lots of people do it. I admit I don’t like everyone I come across in life. Who does? Fortunately, I was able to divulge in this “secret” without revealing the plot. But who this person may or may not represent would purely be coincidental. Whenever I see these disclaimers at the beginning of a story, I know immediately that it serves as the author’s indispensable ironic oxymoron legalese because a character or setting is indeed “borrowed” from a real person or place. Purely coincidental, of course.

While the borrowing of a real place has been done before, this “borrowing” of a personality is a first for me in my current WIP. It saved me a lot of time and research of the character’s backstory, and they still come out with “quite” the personality. With a little artistic freedom. Do I feel rather guilty and sneaky? Indubitably. Would I do it again? I think I need to do this more often!

Day 29: Who do you admire most? #authorconfession 29. First, I admire my father. Second, I admire Dostoevsky for his eloquence, realism, and courage against modern thought.

First, my father: my first art critic. But with his critiques, he taught me from young to always keep striving to do better, and that I was capable of better if I just kept pushing harder every time. Which I did. He gave me the Elements of Grammar when I was 10 years old and told me it was the only how-to-write book I needed, nevermind all those how-to-write books he got for me from the church basement sales.

And second, as an author: Dostoevsky. He was my gateway into classic literature, and I instantly fell in love with his stories and characters from my first read of his, Crime and Punishment. As a writer during the rise of materialism and nihilism during the dawning of the Bolshevik Era, he did his time in the Siberian prison because of his “controversial” writing, and even when he survived that ordeal (and wrote a story about it), he continued to write — and his themes against materialism and nihilism only became stronger with every story. Even today, his messages resonate. His bravery in fighting the modern thought of his day on risk of death, because of his love for his country and its higher ideals, are so admirable. I could only dream of weaving a strong political theme while writing such powerful stories.

 

And there you have it! I will be participating in February’s #authorconfession as well! JM Sullivan is a great gal and her tag idea is brilliant! If you join in the fun for February, let me know!

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8 responses to “January Author Confessions

    • Aw, you’re welcome! Thank /you/ for giving us food for thought with the questions you’ve come up with. I’m so glad to have run into your author tag and met you in the process, you are one cool writerly lady. Looking forward to next month’s confessions, and I don’t doubt that it’ll give me more material to blog about!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great post! I’ll respond to Day 3 question. I can maintain at least two WIPs. For me it works thus: I have a strong WIP going on, a novel that currently stands at 37K and building. the weak secondary is a short story that is done but needs additional scenes and an ending. I work on the novel every day, but on occasion, as happened this past week, a solution occurred to me regarding the short story, so I pull it up and work on it for two days, which gives me a nice respite from the novel to which I return, rested and ready. It’s a haphazard system, but it works. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing and your responses did give me an idea for some future blogs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always love to learn how other writers work, I thank you for sharing! Your method seems to work well for you and as long as you’re making headway, which you certainly are, that’s great. I find that once I allow my mind to focus on another project, I lose all interest in the current one. And it takes much coaxing for me to return to a WIP. So yes, I admire your ability to consciously focus on one project, while subconsciously work on another one.

      A recent headline I’ve been seeing here and there is to write a book in less than 100 days, logic being that humans typically tend to lose steam (interest) after a certain amount of time on one project. Ultimately, I believe slow and steady is the “trick” to writing. However, everyone’s definition of “slow and steady” varies, of course!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve caught a few #AuthorConfessions answers from you and other people on Twitter. Does it happen every month? If it does, maybe I’ll do it in March. I sort of burnt myself out Twitter-wise this month by trying to keep up with #WIPjoy, so I need a break from month-long hashtag memes for a bit…

    “I’ve seen some writing folks with the ability to write in more than one WIP at a time, but that boggles my mind. How do they do that??”

    I’m the same way. I work on one thing at a time, and don’t start something new until the previous draft / story is finished. It’s the big reason why I’m going to hold off on incorporating beta feedback on TKC until I finish the first draft of The Novella. Why stop in the middle of one project to resume another if you’re still in control of your timetable?

    “What I like best about my writing? The act of it. The freedom of working with people and a medium I love.”

    Again, same here! Someone once asked me what I consider to be my writing strengths… and I had no idea how to answer it. I’m much better at picking out the things I know I need to improve on. I’ll let my beta-readers and critique partners tell me what I do best. (*shrugs*)

    I also agree with the company a writer keeps. The online writing community in general is such a beautiful thing. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging of one another, and we all need that. Plus, it’s fun to geek out over writerly things. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m new to the #authorconfession on twitter, but I do know that there will be a February edition. Since we’re on that topic, will there be a February #WIPjoy? I know I’ve seen it often on my twitter list but I never paid too much attention until I finally participated this month. It’s a small commitment, but some questions can get hard to answer! I totally feel you on that though, but I will tell you that buffer and preplanned tweets helped out a lot on those off-days this month! 😉

      And absolutely! I think at this point in our writerly lives, we have it made: no “real” deadlines, just 100% freedom to hone and develop the craft. Imagine having a publisher and editors breathing down our necks, waiting and waiting on us? D: I’m getting palpitations thinking about it! So do take all the time and freedom you want, it’s good for the writing muscles.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think #WIPjoy is a quarterly meme…? I did it once last summer, but skipped the fall one. So maybe another one will run in April or May?

        And I agree, some of the #WIPjoy questions were tough to answer, including today’s. (All for good reason, though!) Since I haven’t worked out a one-sentence premise of The Novella yet, I’m cheating and posting a screenshot of the blurb. (*blushes*)

        “I will tell you that buffer and preplanned tweets helped out a lot on those off-days this month!”

        YES. I pre-scheduled all of my #WIPjoy tweets actually. That was a huge help!

        I’m scared ****less of the day I’ll have to meet deadlines. Because when I do have deadlines, I try to do everything in my power to meet or beat them. But being a slow writer who will probably still have a day job for a while, I have no idea how I’m going to pull that off…

        Which is why it’s best to not worry about that bridge until it’s time to cross it, right? 😉

        Like

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