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!