I was nominated for this award for bloggers from Alex Grover over at Alex Grover Writes a Novel. Thanks, Alex!
Here are 11 questions from Alex:
1. What was the first story/poem you ever wrote? Did you like it? Over the summer between junior and senior years in high school I wrote a fan fiction novel based on the miniseries V. I liked it but I was so embarrassed at the idea of anyone reading it that I threw out each page as I wrote it. I think it was craptastic, as a friend of mine would say — awful in the passionately good way that only a kid can write.
2. Think back to that original story/poem. How has that first work influenced other works? Just last year, I accepted that I like to write fan fiction. I’m glad down to my shoes that I did. Creativity is creativity. So what if it’s not original? Some of my fan fiction pieces have been those that people have most enjoyed, and they’ve given me ideas for other pieces I did later.
3. What’s the weirdest subject you’ve tried to write about? Maybe the killer nun.
4. How do you write? Do you have any rituals the rest of us might think are odd…and want to try ourselves? Good question. If I don’t have anything I’m burning to write, I flip through a file where I’ve collected ideas, or try the Amazing Story Generator or Rory’s Story Cubes — there’s an app for that one, by the way. The way I look at it on the Story Generator and the story cubes, I have no excuse for writer’s block. None whatsoever. They’ve given me a story and any hesitation on my part is just fear of writing something ridiculous. Well, what’s wrong with that?
5. What’s something that you think your writing lacks? Plot. I wish plot came to me easily. There’s a girl in my writers group who once said in a meeting, “I came up with an idea for another novel.” Dear God, I wish I could do that! I’m good at scenes, I’m good at passion, I’m good at getting close to characters and into their heads and under their skins, but ask me to spin a yarn and I’ll say, “Give me a few minutes.”
6. What’s something you think you rock at when it comes to writing? How characters feel. Every psych profile I ever took said that I’m exceptionally empathetic. Even if the character is the complete opposite of me, given enough time and some thoughts on who they are, I could understand them.
Tangent: which actually is an interesting point on the novel I’m working on. If I’m that good at getting into my characters, why am I having a hard time with this story? I think I’ve been trying too hard to make her HEROIC — which is the same mistake I made when I first started writing Shadow and Shade. The hero was too heroic, instead of being a human being. Once I got past that, the story unfolded. Okay…
7. Are you a good storyteller in real life? Or is your raconteur ability only viable on the page? Only on the page. I’m fairly good at impromptu public speaking (Toastmasters table topics) but I’m out of practice. For a full blown story, I need to write it down and work things out, if only on the back of a napkin.
8. Who are your favorite authors? Pick one. What was the moment you decided that that author had immense sway over you? I bounce around a lot, but my favorite books were written by Robert Ludlum (The Bourne Identity), Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451), Glen Cook (The Black Company series), and Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, Timeline, Eaters of the Dead). Crichton hooked me when he brought dinosaurs into the modern world, then just went on with the story rather than trying to awe us with the technology. Can you simply look your readers in the eye, tell them something fantastical, and have them believe it?
9. Where do you get your ideas? Where do you go to get those ideas? Lately it’s been music and video games. I’ve been taking a course on creativity, and according to research, there are two types of creativity: origination and development. (I’m getting the names wrong, but you get the idea.) We all fall somewhere along a continiuum that stretches from one to the other. I’m great at development — hence the struggles with developing original material and the fanfiction. Good music and good video games are passionate and inspiring. Even if it’s just a flash, a scene of a couple of seconds, who knows where that can lead? I’ve also had many times where I’ve been playing a game or reading a book where I’ve frowned and thought, “I think that should have played out differently.” So I’ll write a scene where it plays out how I imagined.
10. What’s your ideal writing food? Writing drink? I don’t have a writing drink other than water. Alcohol loosens me up but it knocks me out, too. Sometimes I’ve eaten pretzel sticks while I’ve written. The salt gives a bit of visceral variety to an exercise that’s otherwise mostly in my head. In general, though, I don’t want the distraction while I write.
11. What is your goal for your writing career? To write something great. A friend of mine once said that a goal without a plan is just a wish. I’ve been working on having a more thoughtful approach to my writing lately — consciously working on plot, character detail, things like that — but I haven’t had an actual plan. Maybe I’ll do that.
Now I need to nominate 5-11 bloggers I know with less than 1,000 followers. Here they are, and they all inspire me:
Fredrik Kayser – He writes deeply passionate fiction and poetry, sometimes with a Viking touch.
Candice Coates – She puts more of her heart and soul into her writing than anyone I know, and that says a lot.
Allyson Everard – Writer of intense frontier science fiction. This isn’t the space opera you grew up with, not by a long shot.
Christine Fichtner – She writes, sketches, and takes photographs, all of it beautiful.
Shane Wilson – Another favorite, Shane does interviews and editorials about a wide variety of creative topics. All of them make me sit up and take notice.
Here are the rules if you want to accept 🙂 :
- Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
- Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
- Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
- Nominate 5–11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (I took a wild guess for some of the nominees.)
- Create a new list of questions for the bloggers to answer.
- List these rules in your post. (You can copy and paste from here.)
- Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.
Here are my 11 questions to you:
- Where do you live?
- What’s your favorite color?
- How long have you been writing?
- Why did you choose the subject of your blog?
- What inspires you, other than other people’s writing?
- Who are your writing influences? Pick one and tell us why using an example of their work.
- What scares you as a writer?
- What do you want to write about, but haven’t yet?
- Tell us about your routine for writing.
- Give us one piece of advice on writing, mundane or amazing.
- What was your favorite blog post so far? Tell us about it and include a link to it.