The Writer’s Tag || Why I write, The Best Writing Time, and 2018 Resolutions

The Writer's Tag

I wasn’t officially tagged for this, but I did tell Marie @drizzle and hurricane books I might do this, so let’s just pretend. Shall we?

Bluejay Feather

What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

I tend to write science fiction and fantasy in almost all sub-genres, leaning a little more towards science fiction.

How long have you been writing?

This depends on how you define “writing.” If we’re referring to writing in my free time as opposed to for other obligations, then around 5 years, possibly a little longer.

Why do you write?

Because I love it.

When is the best time to write?

When I have no other obligations. Just kidding . . . kind of. The only time I tend to have available to write is right before I go to bed after everything else I need to do for the day is finished, but, to be honest with myself, I’m a morning person.

What parts of writing do you love and hate?

I love it when the words flow and everything I’ve researched and outlined clicks together into a coherent whole.

I hate getting started on a day when I’m mentally exhausted and the early stages of the editing process when I’m overwhelmed by all a pieces flaws and can’t see any way to fix them.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

In several ways. It depends on what I think is causing the writer’s block.

My most common solution is to take a break from writing to brainstorm a chapter-by-chapter outline of the next few chapters that need writing.

Are you working on something at the moment?

Sort of. I’m beginning to edit the novel length piece I wrote last summer, but it’s slow going.

What are your writing goals this year?

As the year ends in a few days, this will refer to my writing resolutions for 2018.

  • To receive at least three rejections for something writing related.
  • To finally get to a point where I have edited a novel length draft enough that I feel it is ready for beta readers.

I’m expecting a lot of writing non-related things to happen in 2018, so I’m not setting many goals.

Bluejay Feather

If you write, what are your answers to some of these questions? If not, what surprised you? What are some of your 2018 resolutions, especially book related ones? 

Share your thoughts in the comments below, and Merry Christmas if you celebrate, hope you had a nice day if you don’t!

Advertisements

Beautiful People July 2017

10928109_595959117172101_1450331761_n201_zpsw3b8il6s

Beautiful People is a monthly writing meme hosted by Cait @Paper Fury and Sky @Further up and Further in in which writers answer questions about their characters. Except this month, in which we’re answering questions about our writing process instead.

Bluejay Feather

How do you decide which project to work on?

It depends. Whenever I get an idea I write it down and record it in a folder on my computer. I’ll let the ideas sit in that folder for a couple months. If I’m still excited about that idea after the time I leave it sitting in that file it’ll probably become at least a short story.

I decide which one to work on next by going through my list of ideas. I choose the one I’ve done the most research for or am most excited about in that moment.

How long does it usually take you to finish a project?

That depends. In someways none of my projects are technically done. I’m always going back and revising. Since none of my fiction is published, this has never really stopped.

In terms of first drafts of my novel length works, they usually take about three months or so. Revising takes much longer.

Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?

Not really, no.

What time of day do you write best?

I write best in the morning, but rarely get to. Instead, I usually write at the end of the day as a reward for finishing everything else.

Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?

I’m sure there are, but I don’t think I’d be the best judge of this fact. I’m too close to my work.

Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?

I’m not exactly sure when I started. I was slow to learn to read and write, but I’ve been telling myself stories for as long as I can remember. One day I started writing those stories down. I haven’t stopped since.

I keep writing because somewhere in the midst of writing to share stories, I came to love the words themselves.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?

I’m not sure. All of my projects are difficult in different ways. The hardest thing to finish was my first novel length work. That was because I was so filled with doubt.

Part of me wondered if I was capable of finishing something that long. It was a huge step for me to learn I am capable of writing something novel length.

My longest project, a 90,000 word long epic fantasy manuscript, was also difficult because long novels take even more focus than the 60,000-ish word ones I usually write.

Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?

There is, but I feel I’m getting close. I’ve always wanted to write a novel from the perspective of an intelligent non-human being that lives in an aquatic environment. Seriously, I tried to write a story like this for the first time when I was about 12. That story was abandoned after the first page, but the idea of writing from the perspective of intelligent sea life has never left my mind.

Trouble is that it’s really difficult to write from the perspective of a being whose perception of the world is so different from humans. This is why I haven’t attempted this idea for so long.

What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?

I was hoping to have something ready to send out to beta readers by the end of this year. This is looking unlikely, but not yet impossible. It’s something I’m working towards but hit a setback when I decided to abandon the epic fantasy project I mentioned earlier for my current one.

I came to the conclusion while revising my epic fantasy work in progress that I don’t think I can make it good enough that it’s worth people spending money on. If I’m going to make people pay to read something, I want it to feel it’s worth their time.

Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!

Writing is rewriting.

It’s cliche, but it’s true.

Bluejay Feather

Anything surprising about my writing process? Is anyone participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month? Anyone have a similar process? 

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Camp NaNoWriMo: How to find an active cabin

Camp NaNoWriMo.png

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is an annual writing event. You can learn more about on their website here. Camp NaNoWriMo is an twice annual offshoot event featuring virtual “cabins” with up to 20 participants. Learn more here.

I’ve participated in Camp NaNoWriMo seven times now. In the past, I’ve had both cabins that were active and others that were inactive. I’ve found cabin activity critical to staying motivated.

The NaNoWriMo forms have some good tips for finding cabin mates, but today I’m sharing some things I personally have found result in an active cabin.

Disclaimer: This is only what has worked for me, and most of this post is speaking in general terms. No doubt there are exceptions, and your results may vary.

Bluejay Feather

Private cabins are more active.

The camp NaNoWriMo website allows users to choose to not get put in a cabin, get sorted with other campers based on private criteria, or create/be invited to a private cabin.

Many people who plan to participate in Camp NaNo won’t write a single word. It’s like new years resolutions. Many people don’t complete their goals. Therefore, the best bet for an active cabin is to meet other enthusiastic people on the NaNoWriMo Finding cabin mates forum.

The earlier you join a cabin the better.

Some people will join camp late. However, in general, more active people will be excited to find a cabin as soon as possible. This leads to a greater chance of more active members if you start looking early in the month.

Barriers to entry lead to more active members.

This mostly applies to those who are starting their own cabin by looking for people in the forums. The forums allow people to specify criteria for the participants they’re looking for.

By barriers to entry I mean specify certain criteria. This can be anything from an age range to a specific genre or time zone.

Specifying you’re looking for people who have done something  that requires them to have taken action at one point, like winning NaNoWriMo/Camp NaNoWriMo in a previous year, can be even more effective because it requires people to have a track record of active participation.

Just make sure these barriers to entry are not so high as to be unattainable by the majority of people because that could lead to a lack of interest.

Overestimate the number of people you want.

20 people seems like a lot, but it’s likely some people will disappear throughout the month. Yes, even following these tips. So, add more people than you think you’ll want to your cabin. This will allow you to have enough people left to stay motivated at the end of the month.

Bluejay Feather

Have you participated in Camp NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo? Are you participating in July? Do you have any tips?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Beautiful People May 2017

10928109_595959117172101_1450331761_n201_zpsw3b8il6s

Beautiful People is a monthly writing meme hosted by Cait @Paper Fury and Sky @Further up and Further in in which writers answer a series of questions about one of their characters.

This month I’m talking about Lyle, a character from a science fiction short story I’ve written and am considering turning into a novel length manuscript.

Bluejay Feather

Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?

Before the start of my story Lyle would have said his relationship with his parents was good, and in a way it was because they spent so much time together. However, most of this was because Lyle was sheltered and had nothing to compare his relationship with his parents to.

After the story starts Lyle’s relationship with his parents is terrible. Like, too terrible to say anything about without spoilers terrible.

Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected their life?

Yes, Lyle knows both his biological human parents very well. Now, his biological nonhuman parents are another story entirely. Thankfully, for most of the story Lyle doesn’t know they exist, and I’m pretty sure they’re dead so . . .

How did their parents meet?

They met in college at a club for finance majors.

How would they feel if they were told “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?

That would depend on the part of the story I’m at. At the very beginning Lyle would take that as a huge compliment. Throughout the rest of the story, Lyle would take that as a huge insult.

What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?

Lyle’s mother was being home schooled and helping take care of her five siblings. Lyle’s father was in high school.

Is there something they adamantly disagree on?

Lyle’s parents often disagree on the best way to raise Lyle and when Lyle is old enough to learn certain information.

What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?

This is kind of spoilery but is answered within the equivalent of the first fifty pages, so I’ll answer anyway. The hardest part of raising Lyle is his untimely death, which forces Lyle’s parents to find a way to bring Lyle back to life.

What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?

Before the story starts, this would be the time Lyle’s parents sneaked him into a mall in a baby carrier. They got found out and made to leave the store before long, but it was still a great day for Lyle because he’d never been inside a mall before.

What was your character like as a baby/toddler?

That depends. Is this referring to the first time Lyle was a baby or the second time? They were very different experiences. . . . or were these babies two different people? That is the question.

Why and how did the parents choose your character’s name?

Lyle’s parents chose his name because Kyle was a family name. Lyle’s parents thought this was too common but still wanted to be somewhat traditional, so they chose a similar sounding alternative.

Bluejay Feather

Do my answers to these questions make sense to anyone besides me? Is anyone interested in hearing more about this writing project?

What does everyone think of the feather? It’s new. 

What does everyone think of me asking questions at the end of posts? That’s new too. I’ve seen a lot of people doing it and thought I’d give it a try.