Beautiful People is back again, this time with an author edition! Feel free to read my responses to discover how woeful I am at the craft of writing :)
- How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’?
I don’t really know. I probably started doing it more in middle school/ freshman year of high school, but I’ve always been writing. Well, actually, I’ve always been world building because it was fun. I went through a poetry phase my Freshman year, and I’m pretty sure that’s when I started actually writing things. I’m not sure I consider myself a ‘writer’ even now. I love writing stories, but it’s more of a hobby than a career path. I’m content to play with stories in my head, maybe write a few of them down and keep them to myself. I have plans for larger works, but I haven’t seriously started on any of them. I prefer planning novels to starting them :p
- How/why did you start writing?
I like to build worlds, so it’s fun to make up stories to go with them. I started writing poetry in high school for reasons I have never been able to fathom. I don’t know. I just like to write sometimes.
- What’s your favorite part of writing?
If it isn’t already obvious, it’s the planning/ world building phase. I swear I’ve spent more paper on that stuff than on actually writing the stories themselves. I especially love world building, creating cultures and landscapes and philosophies, etc.
- What’s your biggest writing struggle?
The actual act of writing. I get bored with story lines way too easily. Or I run into complications, and I have to find where they started, which is usually back in the beginning, and by that point I have a billion other ideas that are twenty times more interesting. I do finish some things though, and I’ve recently discovered micro fiction which is super fun to do.
- Do you write best at night or day?
Day. I write really horribly at night. I’m a morning person, so I’m best when I have all of my mental powers at my disposal.
- What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!)
I write literally anywhere. Actually (and this might sound kind of bad) I do some of my best writing in church or in classes. It’s not that I’m not listening, it’s just that the professor of my pastor probably said something that inspired a story! I also write curled up on my couch, on the floor, in my bed, leaning against my desk, leaning on my bookshelves. Never actually at my desk though. What’s with that?
- How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?
What is this ‘completion’ of which you speak? No, but seriously, when I was in my fiction class I could knock out a third draft of a 15ish page short story in about 12 hours. I did like five drafts of a micro fiction piece in about two hours. I wrote a 72 page (handwritten) story in maybe 12 hours. I’m a pretty fast writer.
- How many projects do you work on at once?
A billion. I have so many beginnings of things that I haven’t given up on yet. It’s ridiculous.
- Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between?
I like happy endings. A professor of mine once said it takes more courage and more skill to write a meaningful comedy than a tragedy, and I agree with that.
- List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey.
Well, I like fantasy, so I would be lying if I didn’t say Tolkien. But I also admire Diana Wynn Jones, Richard Burton’s story telling style, and the form of Gothic Horror (so writers like Stoker, and le Fanu) and folk/fairy tales (so Anderson, the Grimm Brothers).
- Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?
It depends. I had to let people read the stuff for my fiction class. I also write a Christmas Story for my family every year, so that gets read. Other than that, I’d have to finish something.
- What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream?
I’d like to finish a novel. But a really good one. I’d also just like to work on perfecting the things I already like doing, so short stories, to share with my close friends and family. Oh! I have a novella that is a completed first handwritten draft. My goal is to one day put it on the computer!
- If you didn’t write, what would you want to do?
I like to do a lot of things. I like to read, and draw, and paint, and watch Netflix. Oh, you meant as a career. I’m trying to find myself a teaching position at the moment. I have no aspirations to be a professional writer. Except maybe essays and research papers, since I am primarily an academic.
- Do you have a book you'd like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet?
All of them? Yeah. I have a journal with five pages of one line story ideas. Some of them are stupid, but some look interesting still. I have a fantasy I want to try my hand at, but I’m still in the world building/ planning stage. I have parts of a world, and I have some characters, and I have some vague ideas for a plot, but I’m not nearly prepared enough to actually begin.
- Which story has your heart and won't let go?
It’s not a story so much as a character. The settings change, the stories change, her name changes, but she remains. She’s like the lynch pin of my whole literary ambition. Even if she isn’t the protagonist, she’s always there, and I always love her the most.