Happy New Year everyone!!!! Welcome to 2021!
1. Display the award logo on your site.
2. Link back to the person who tagged you. Here’s where you can find the Teen Writer’s Nook post that nominated me. I definitely encourage you to check out their site. They’re a fun, quirky community full of great positive energy and encouragement for young writers and story lovers.
3. Answer 5 questions.
4. Tag 3 blogs (must be blogs related to writing, not book review blogs) and ask them 5 new questions.
5. Follow as many blogs with this award as you can!
Which is good, for two reasons:
1- I’ve been meaning to get out there in the writing community more. It adds a sense of community and comradery to a rather solitary career path, and it’s fun to watch others’ journeys unfold and cheer them on.
And 2- One of my resolutions this year is to be more considerate and active in the lives of others. I feel like I grew a lot as a person throughout 2020’s craziness, but I also feel like a lot of my energy was self-centered as a result. This year, I want to do more for other people. And one way to do that is to get out there and support my fellow writers.
Now, onto the Q+A part
1. What made you start writing?
Honestly, I feel like I was born to be a writer. I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I always loved games that involved make believe, and I was a major daydreamer. I loved hearing/watching/reading stories, and when they inspired me, I set out to create my own.
The first “book” that I remember writing was based on… excuse me- STRAIGHT UP PLAGERIZED- from a book my mom read to me about a chaotic school play. I liked it so much that I just had to create my own version. I was six at the time and still learning how to spell longer words, so I dictated the book to my mom. She wrote it all down, and I did the pictures in markers that bled through the pages.
If I ever found that book, I would undoubtedly cringe and despise it, but I know that I’d keep it. Because that cringey stack of pages is a marker of a pivotal moment in my life. That was the moment that I realized I wanted to write books for a living, and it’s shaped my life in so many ways since.
Other stories followed, and most of them were more original than the first, but seldom were they ever finished. Still, I had a wild imagination, and the magic of the story world entranced me. I kept dreaming, and ten years after the author spark ignited, I began work on The Lockbox, my first really serious project. And I’m really happy with how far I’ve come.
2. Do you ever have any days when you question why you’re a writer?
Despite what I said in the above question, yes. Sometimes it’s because I have terrible writers’ block, or I feel discouraged by the sheer difficulty of the process. Sometimes, I spend a lot of time in fictional places, and it’s the mental equivalent of eating too much chocolate at once. Yes, you love it, and it was amazing at first, but now you’re slightly sick of it and need something to refresh your pallet.
But no matter what prompts the question, I still know, deep down, that this is what I’m meant to do. And I know that I’ll find the joy in writing again if I keep at it. I might give myself breaks, but I always dive back in.
3. What’s a recent tip you’ve learned for writing?
One recent writing tip I’ve learned and really like is about the concept of making promises to the reader and keeping them. You don’t want your writing to feel predictable/stale. You don’t want your readers to see the end coming from a mile away. But you don’t want to jar or cheat them either. You want the story to feel like it ended not in the most obvious way, but the correct way. Regardless of what happens in your story and the type of ending you have (happy, sad, somewhere in between), you want it to feel like it was supposed to end that way. Even if they didn’t see it coming as they read, the reader feels like the story ended exactly as it was supposed to. They can look back and see how everything led up to that last page, why things unfolded as they did. You, the author, delivered on the promises you planted in their subconscious early on in the story.
4. What’s your favorite writerly quote?
I’ve actually got a couple:
“Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white hot, on paper.”
5. Do you have someone you consider like your writing mentor?
I’m not sure if I have a single, individual person that I consider my writing mentor. I have found a lot of great writing resources though, and I really appreciate those who created them and put them out into the world. I’m sure you’ve heard me mention Go Teen Writers quite a few times on this site. I find a lot of great advice there. I’ve also gained a lot by reading Story Trumps Structure by Steven James and On Writing by Stephen King. (I guess guys named Steven/Stephen are just naturals when it comes to writing advice.)
I was also lucky to have some great English teachers over the years, writing and reading communities at school, an awesome mom who loves a good story as much as I do, and my fabulous friend Gabby, with whom I can discuss works in progress and complain about writer problems.
Now, for my nominations:
You may notice that the rules said 3 and I only tagged 2. Well, as I said above, I am still in the process of getting out there in the writing Blog-o-Sphere, and there’s only a few blogs that I know of that are primarily writing-centered. So, I encourage anyone with writer blog recommendations to leave links in the comments. Also, if you run a writing blog and you are reading this, consider yourself my third tag and feel free to participate!
Your questions are:
- Have you ever surprised yourself with your own writing? (Example: a plot twist unfolded in such a way that even you, the author, were astonished. Or perhaps your characters took on a life of their own and brought the story in a whole new direction.)
- In the event your book becomes a best seller, would you rather see it adapted as a TV show or a movie and why?
- If you were a character in your WIP, what type of roll do you think you would have in the story?
- Your teacher splits the class into groups of three for a project. Pick one character from your WIP and one character from a book/movie/show that you like to be in your group.
- What’s a writer-related thing that you wish you could take a whole class in?
There’s no obligation to respond, but, should you choose to accept this mission, take all the time you need, and let me know when you’ve completed your post. I’m curious to see what your responses are. And, if I didn’t tag you, but you still want to answer these questions, feel free to do so in the comments!
Also, while I have everyone here, allow me to give you a quick update, as I have been mostly inactive here for quite some time.
- I finished my fall semester back at the start of December. It was a long, chaotic, busy road, but I survived. Since then, I’ve been trying very hard to enjoy my newfound free time by doing nothing, hence the absence here. I do have a couple post ideas in the works though, so stay tuned. And I will get that second part of Through Kent’s Glen out eventually. Trust me, I will.
- I’m about a fourth of the way through typing up The Lockbox. Not as far as I’d like to be, but I’m making steady progress. My new goal: be at the first peer review phase by next December. So, a year to finish typing and fine tune stuff to the point where it’s at least presentable to an initial trustworthy circle.
- I started brainstorming another novel. I don’t really know how to describe the plot yet, but to give you the gist of the concept, it’s a fantasy story set in an alternate world, and I got the idea during a classroom discussion about the concept of de-extinction. I’m either going to make this or Daughter of Gollerus my back up project to Lockbox, and then the other one will be my eventual National Novel Writing Month project. I’ll keep you posted on which I choose for what.
- I bought a bunch of new books recently and my “future reads” pile is bigger than I can manage. However, I have no intention of ceasing this sort of behavior whatsoever.
- I also bought a replica of Hermione’s time turner whilst at Barnes and Noble, because I saw one in a catalogue as a kid and always wanted one. Wooh! Nerd energy!