Thursday, August 21, 2008

A writing meme

Becca posted this meme for writers, and I couldn't resist answering her questions.
  1. Do you write fiction or non-fiction? Or both? I write fiction mostly, but I dabble in essay writing, too. I like how non-fiction helps me work through/think about my life more clearly, but I'm drawn more to fiction. Writing and reading fiction also helps me to work through the issues that arise in my life, and there's something so satisfying to me in knowing that there are infinite possibilities when you start a work of fiction, and the work is getting to the place where you know you've landed in the one that's perfect for your story.
  2. Do you keep a journal or a writing notebook? I do have a writing notebook. I've been using my morning commute to journal (by far the best way to spend that time!). I would say I spend half the time writing about my life, and half working out problems in the story I'm working on. The latter is so amazingly helpful--that way when I do my "real writing" later in the day, in front of the computer, my pump (brain) is primed.
  3. 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? Do you find books on plotting useful or harmful? I usually think I know the motivations and conflicts before I start. But then as I'm writing, new things always arise that make the story better/more interesting and complex.
  4. Are you a procrastinator or does the itch to write keep at you until you sit down and work? I guess a little of both, if you can be. I can get in procrastination phases, but I'm not a good procrastinator when it comes to writing--ie, I don't have fun procrastinating. It feels like something is hanging over my head.
  5. Do you write in short bursts of creative energy, or can you sit down and write for hours at a time? Again, I think I do both. It just depends on my mood and the time I have to spare.
  6. Are you a morning or afternoon writer? I'm in the process of training myself to write anytime. My life is just not calm enough to allow for a regular time for me to sit in front of my computer.
  7. 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'm realizing how incredibly flexible I am--again, my answer is that I can go with any of the above. Though if I'm in a bad mood, noise will annoy the crap out of me.
  8. Computer or longhand? (or typewriter?) I do my journal long hand, but my actually stories are all typed.
  9. Do you know the ending before you type Chapter One? Or do you let the story evolve as you write? I agree completely with what Becca wrote: "I usually think I know the ending - but it seems like it often surprises me!"
  10. Does what’s selling in the market influence how and what you write? No. I don't think it really makes sense to try to write one way or another. It'd kinda be like asking me to grow my 5'2" body into that of a super model. Plus, by the time you notice a trend in publishing, it's way too late to start writing something in that mode and get it published before the trend has passed.
  11. Editing/Revision - love it or hate it? I both love and hate it. I hate the pressure I feel when I revise--ie, that I need to be perfect because I'm perfecting something. But once I get into it, I enjoy the process because it allows me to get even deeper into the story/characters.
Thanks Becca for the great meme! Best Blogger Tips


Becca said...

Great responses, Bug! I especially liked this comment: "Writing and reading fiction helps me work through the issues that arise in my life, and there's something so satisfying in knowing that there are infinite possibilities when you start a work of fiction..."

This made me think of fiction writing in a different way than I have in the past - a way of taking an issue or incident from real life and working through it fictionally with different possibilities. This might help me finish some of the stories I've started and left languishing because I couldn't figure out where they were going! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

enjoyed your entry (on writing!) and also your "to read" list.

Writer Bug said...

I'm so glad you found it helpful, Becca! While non of my fiction is really autobiographical in any sense, the ideas/feelings in it are certainly things I've experienced/am trying to figure out.

Repeater said...

Great post, bug. Always glad to learn more about how my peers work & think more about how I work, too. I envy your flexibility-- I have to have silence or it doesn't work at all for me. I end up writing about the annoying people around me!

TI said...

Loved reading about your writing attitudes/habits. Training yourself to write anytime is really important--how's it going?